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Virus cases in SKorea delays table tennis team world champs

BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — The team world championships in table tennis scheduled in South Korea is the latest sports event postponed because of the virus outbreak from China. The International Table Tennis Federation on Tuesday said it plans to reschedule the March 22-29 championships in Busan to June 21-28 — one month before the Tokyo Olympics.

After Busan reported its first confirmed cases of COVID-19 last week, city officials and table tennis organizers held “an emergency contingency meeting” about the event. The ITTF cited “the emerging situation in Korea Republic and to best preserve the health and safety of players, officials and fans” for the decision.

The new tournament calendar could affect World Tour competitions in Australia and South Korea currently scheduled in June. The spread of COVID-19 to South Korea has meant the domestic basketball league will finish its season with games played in empty stadiums. The K-league also announced this week the 2020 domestic soccer season will be delayed.

China on Tuesday reported 508 new cases and another 71 deaths, 68 of them in the central city of Wuhan, where the epidemic was first detected in December. The updates bring mainland China's totals to 77,658 cases and 2,663 deaths.

South Korea has the second-most cases in the world with 893 infections and 10 deaths.

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