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Hong Kong’s top badminton tournament has been canceled due to strict anti-Covid policies that required players to compete in an “isolation bubble”, organizers said on Thursday. The Hong Kong Open, scheduled for November 8-13, has not been held since the start of the pandemic and the latest announcement gives a new boost to the Chinese city’s ambitions to restart its devastated sports scene. There is a blow. The Hong Kong Badminton Association said there was “no viable option” other than cancellation because the city’s anti-pandemic measures — which follow China’s zero-covid strategy — differ from other World Tour events.
The association said local policies would mean “more than 400 overseas players/officials are required to train and compete for eight to 10 days”.
Hong Kong officials have given the green light to the Hong Kong Masters snooker in October and rugby sevens in November, both of which require athletes to run a Beijing Olympics-style “closed-loop” bubble.
The arrangement means athletes will be isolated from the community and cannot go beyond the venue of the competition and their accommodation.
Last week, an athletic body in Hong Kong opted to cancel the upcoming race after authorities imposed last-minute restrictions, while a cross-harbor swim scheduled for October is shrouded in uncertainty. .
Hong Kong reported more than 10,000 new infections on Thursday, passing a threshold that health officials had previously warned could trigger a return to stricter social distancing measures.
Badminton’s Macau Open in early November was also canceled on Thursday due to Covid.
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