Coronavirus outbreak: China's table tennis team avoids home trip, take refuge in Qatar

WION Web Team Doha Qatar Feb 12, 2020, 12.21 PM(IST)

Chinese TT team in Qatar (Twitter/ @ITTF) Photograph:( Twitter )

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Table tennis is China's national sport, it's participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is crucial as it has helped the country fetch a lot of gold medals during the Olympics. 

China's table tennis team has gone to Qatar to seek refuge after accepting Doha's offer of a training base to avoid returning home to China due to the on-going coronavirus outbreak. 

Also see: Sporting events that fell victim to coronavirus!

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The squad which consists of 30 players flew to Doha after the conclusion of their successful ITTF German Open campaign recently. China's Xu Xin and Chen Meng won the men's and the women's singles events respectively. 

Table tennis is China's national sport, it's participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is crucial as it has helped the country fetch several gold medals during the Olympics. 

The Qatar Table Tennis Association has provided China's table tennis team with meals, accommodation and nearly 15 tables and 2,000 TT (table tennis) balls. 

The team is settled in the Aspire Academy Arena, ahead of the Qatar Open. The Qatar Open will commence on March 3. After Qatar, the world championships are set to start in Busan, South Korea, on March 22.

Meanwhile, the death toll from coronavirus surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday which is way more than the 2003's SARS outbreak. The virus had infected 8,098 people and killed 774 in 2003.

In biggest leap in a day, 108 new deaths were reported in the last twenty-four hours. The number is expected to increase further with passing hours. Meanwhile, 42,638 have been infected.

This is just in mainland China. The magnitude, the scale and the pace of this outbreak are unprecedented. 

The crisis in Wuhan which is an epicentre of this deadly virus is showing itself in the unlikeliest of ways.