International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer fears the coronavirus outbreak could leave Chinese competitors disadvantaged when it comes to qualifying for Tokyo 2020 ©IJF

International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer is set to ask for an increase in the sport's quota for this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo to ensure that Chinese competitors are not disadvantaged by the coronavirus crisis which is having a major impact on sport, he revealed here.

Chinese judoka are missing from the IJF Grand Slam, which started today, because the French Embassy in Beijing is closed as a result of the outbreak.

That made it impossible for the Chinese delegation to obtain the necessary visas to travel here.

It means they will miss out on the opportunity to gain valuable ranking points to help them qualify for Tokyo 2020. 

Vizer chaired an emergency meeting of the IJF Executive Committee in the French capital last night to discuss the situation.

He has already contacted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to try to find a solution to ensure Chinese judoka do not miss out on Tokyo 2020 as a result of the crisis. 

"Since the beginning [of the coronavirus outbreak] we are developing the matter with Chinese [Judo] Federation and the event organisers," Vizer said.

Yu Song, left, won one of China's two Olympic bronze medals at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Yu Song, left, won one of China's two Olympic bronze medals at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"In Paris the Chinese delegation can't participate because of visa issues and it's set to be the same for the Grand Slam in Germany later this month. 

"We are in discussions and even negotiations with the IOC on how to find a solution to show solidarity, humanity and support to our Chinese colleagues and to protect the IJF community. 

"It is a serious issue and a special situation which at the moment cannot be solved. 

"We will soon see the results of our negotiations and we are on the way to propose a quota of participation for Chinese athletes who are qualified at the moment and one or two who have the chance to qualify, we try to request a greater quota from the IOC for China, not to affect our Olympic quota, but in order to protect our judoka and community for the next series of events.

"We made the first proposal to the IOC regarding solutions how to solve this issue for judo and other sports. 

"For those who are qualified they would not be required to attend any more events, there are those who are on qualification positions but still need to officially qualify and there are those who are in contention to qualify and require more points."

China won two Olympic medals at Rio 2016, both bronze thanks to Cheng Xunzhao in the men's 90 kilograms and Yu Song in the women's over-78kg.