Japan opts to skip 2020 World Wrestling Championship due to Covid-19 fears

The 2020 World Wrestling Championship was scheduled to take place in Belgrade, Serbia, on December 12 -20.

The Japan Wrestling Federation announced on October 30 that they would not send a team to the 2020 World Championships scheduled to be hosted by Serbia’s Belgrade in December, taking into account the safety for the wrestlers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reasons the federation noted include the surge in Covid-19 infections in Europe as well as the fact that the arena that will be the venue for the event in the capital of Serbia is being used as a makeshift hospital for the coronavirus patients.

At the World Championships last year in Nur-Sultan, Japan won three gold medals and nine overall. Besides Japan, the United States also has announced that it would skip this year’s event.

Although coronavirus infections continue to spread in Japan, the condition has been largely contained with nationwide adherence to countermeasures, including mask wearing. Earlier this month, national-level competitions have been resumed for the first time since February.

With the global calendar rescheduled by the pandemic, the 2020 World Championships were planned to take place on December 12-20 in Belgrade. Unluckily, that schedule overlapped with the set dates of December 17-20 for the All-Japan Championships. Although most top wrestlers indicated that they would have opted to take part in the World Championships; now that choice has been eliminated.

Global coronavirus crisis

In late December of last year, Chinese officials informed the WHO about the outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan. After that, cases of the novel coronavirus, later named Covid-19 by the WHO, have been reported in all corners of the world.

The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The latest statistics show that more than 47,457,200 people from all over the world have been infected.