World Sailing have cancelled their qualification event in Genoa ©Sailing Energy

The final sailing qualification event for this year's Olympic Games in Genoa has been cancelled due to coronavirus, with World Sailing hoping to reschedule the event to ensure quota places can be allocated.

Cancellation of the competition follows the Italian Government enforcing a lockdown in the country to attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

Italy now has the second highest number of coronavirus cases worldwide, with over 12,000 reported in the nation with 827 deaths confirmed.

China, where the outbreak began, has had over 80,000 cases in total and 3,169 confirmed deaths to date.

World Sailing revealed they had been in regular contact with the Italian Sailing Federation, local organisers and the Italian Government over the World Cup event.

The World Cup competition had been scheduled to take place in Genoa from April 11 to 19.

A decision was made to cancel the event, with the World Sailing Board having also received advice from its Medical Commission.

World Sailing also revealed the International Olympic Committee has given the governing body an extended qualification period until June 30.

The event in Genoa served as the final qualifier for Africa, Asia and Europe ©Getty Images
The event in Genoa served as the final qualifier for Africa, Asia and Europe ©Getty Images

"The decision was made to ensure the health and well-being of the sailors, support personnel, officials and volunteers, a top priority for World Sailing," a World Sailing statement read.

"Hempel World Cup Series Genoa was to act as the final opportunity for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification for African, Asian and European sailors in a number of the Olympic Sailing Events.

"World Sailing is now working in close collaboration with the IOC and event organisers to reschedule the remaining African, Asian and European Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers and to ensure that all quota places can be allocated."

The cancellation marks the second time the Asian qualification event as been impacted by coronavirus.

World Sailing announced last month that the 49erFX Asian Championship and the 2020 Nacra 17 Asian Championship would move to Genoa.

The events were originally scheduled to take place in Hainan and Shanghai in China respectively.

Coronavirus has forced the cancellation or postponement of numerous sporting events, with numerous Olympic qualifiers having been impacted.