COVID-19 Concerns Prompt Cancellation of World Cup of Baku Finals

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) announced Friday that this weekend’s finals of the World Cup of Baku have been canceled “following the decision of the government of Azerbaijan to avoid mass gatherings in the country for one month” based on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made public on the second day of qualifications in the Baku competition that serves as one of the qualification events for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“Azerbaijan announced isolation measures would be put in place from 14 March in order to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 in the country,” according to a statement published on the FIG website.

After qualifications on Thursday and Friday, the top qualifiers for the women’s finals were Teja Belak of Slovenia (vault), Fan Yilin of China (uneven bars), Urara Ashikawa of Japan (balance beam) and Lara Mori of Italy (floor exercise).

The top qualifiers for the men’s finals were Abdelrahman Elgamal of Turkey (floor exercise), Weng Hao of China (pommel horse), Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece (still rings), Shin Jeahwan of Korea (vault), You Hao of China (parallel bars) and Umit Samiloglu of Turkey (horizontal bar).

The cancellation of the Baku finals follows other changes to the FIG calendar announced this week that are based on the COVID-19 pandemic. Other impacted competitions include the World Cup of Doha (scheduled for March 18-21, postponed to June 3-6), the World Cup of Stuttgart (scheduled for March 20-22, canceled) and the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy (scheduled for April 4-5, canceled). For FIG’s announcement, click here.

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