Valeska Knoblauch in action last year (credit Badminton Photo)
Risk of Coronavirus causes venue change
Date: 2/10/2020 12:11 PM
Published by : Bobby Griffin (BEC)

Two days before the start of play, the Brazilian Badminton Confederation (CBBd), in consultation with the Brazil Paralympic Committee, has decided to move the competition venue of the Brazil Para badminton International 2020 to the Ibirapuera Gymnasium.

An official statement was released by the organising committee last night, to all team managers, which affects the change of venue and change of accommodation to some of teams arriving in South America this weekend. The statement reads as follows.

- The Brazil Paralympic Committee, which has its headquarters at the Paralympic Center, is also home for the national teams of athletics, swimming, table tennis, sitting volleyball, among others, therefore about 2000 people circle around the facilities on a daily basis.

- In this group, all potential medalists from Brazil at the 2020 Paralympic Games are training at the Paralympic Center, and if one single case of Coronavirus is confirmed in this tournaments, the whole center would have to be placed in quarantine.

- The change in competition venue is related to protective measures by the Brazil Paralympic Center concerning the high volume of other Brazilian Para sport athletes and staff staying in the center; the CBBd would like to make it clear that this is not connected to the detection of any actual cases of the Coronavirus.

Read: EMWTC: We expect to have a medal this year

- The CBBd is doing everything it can to make the transfer of the competition venue smooth and to provide a good and safe environment for athletes and officials, including taking into account the advice of official health authorities in Brazil.

- It’s confusing, we are trying to stay focused!

Germany’s world number two WH1 women’s singles star, Valeska Knoblauch, was available to share her thoughts on the news when she arrived in Brazil.

- We had to move out of the hotel we had just checked into, they are afraid of the Coronavirus in the Paralympic training Center. It’s a security measure and precautionary, but it was very last-minute news with the change to accommodation and venue. It’s all a little bit confusing, but we are trying not to get affected by the news, we are trying to stay focused.

We asked Knoblauch about her form right now, and how she sees Brazil and the remaining tournaments in the Road to Tokyo 2020.

- Neither of my rivals Satomi (JPN) nor Sujirat (THA) are coming to South America this fortnight. My toughest competition will be the Chinese girls and I’m excited and happy to play against them because I can always learn a lot from these tough matches.

- I lost to Menglu in the quarterfinals in the last tournament in Japan and hope I can do better this time.

- I feel good. I have trained a lot with the team back home so I am confident about this tournament and hope that I can collect as many ranking points as possible. My goal is to be on the podium here and in Peru next week.

The Brazil Para Badminton International 2020 will take place from 10-15 February as planned. It is the first of three remaining tournaments that fall within the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games qualifying period that ends on 2 April.

The Peru Para Badminton International runs from 17-23 February, with the Spanish Para Badminton International 10-15 March.

Look out for updates from the Brazil Para badminton International 2020, see tournament software here for draws and results

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