BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a number of Olympic qualifiers to be canceled or postponed, China's preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have not been seriously affected, according to a spokesperson for the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC).
"The virus outbreak has indeed disrupted some teams' training schedule, but its impact on our Olympic berths will only be temporary," said the spokesperson.
"Some of the national teams stay abroad and train under strict and careful management. To date, no confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases have been found among them," the spokesperson said.
Due to the virus outbreak in China earlier this year, eight Olympic qualifiers and other four significant points races, planned to be held in China, were relocated. As the disease spread, many events were called off before the end of April, including fencing, wrestling, triathlon and tennis.
In the last two years, China has obtained 147 qualifications in 339 Olympic events. Undeterred by the novel coronavirus outbreak across the globe, Chinese athletes booked other 14 berths in women's basketball, boxing, women's water polo, cycling and other events.
"Up until now, Chinese athletes have claimed 161 berths, which they deserve," the spokesperson stated.
In the next step, the General Administration of Sport will take measures to ensure athletes' normal training and strengthen their physical fitness. Meanwhile, a series of national team trials and competitions involving provincial teams will be held online.