The Spanish Para Badminton International, the final chance for players to earn ranking points ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Spanish Badminton Federation (FESBA) took the decision to cancel the event, which was due to be staged in Cartagena from March 10, on the advice of health authorities.
In a statement the FESBA said: “Important meetings with regional and local sport and health authorities took place on Thursday and Friday to discuss if the event could be staged.
“We were informed that for public health reasons linked to COVID-19 that we had to cancel the tournament.
“We tried to ensure the future of the tournament but that proved unsuccessful.”
The Spanish Para Badminton International 2020 - the final #Tokyo2020 qualifying ranking tournament for @Paralympics has also been cancelled. MORE: https://t.co/89uQXVFlsv #Parabadminton #Tokyo2020 #COVID19https://t.co/BoySXJTIwK— BWF (@bwfmedia) March 6, 2020
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) welcomed the decision, citing the welfare of players, their entourage, fans and officials at the tournament as the main priority.
The Spanish Para Badminton International was due to be the final opportunity for athletes to gain ranking points in their bid to qualify for this summer's Paralympics, as the qualification period ends on April 2.
This follows the postponement of the Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International, again due to the coronavirus outbreak.
That postponement came about after the Government and local authorities instructed sporting organisations in the United Arab Emirates to postpone all international sport activities scheduled for March and April because of the outbreak.
In a statement, the BWF said: "We understand that the announcement of the cancellation of the Spanish Para Badminton International will have various implications for players and teams related to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games qualification.
"However, we are not at this time planning to make any adjustments to the qualification regulations."
Globally there are more than 105,000 cases of coronavirus, including more than 500 in Spain.