The executive board of United World Wrestling has approved Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as the host of the 2020 Asian Olympic Qualifier. The competition will be held from March 27-29.

Xi’an in China was originally scheduled to host the event, but the championship was reallocated following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic which is affecting several large cities in the country.

“We are glad to see that the Kyrgyzstan government and the Kyrgyzstan Wrestling Federation were able to step in as a suitable replacement for this important event,” said United World Wrestling president, Nenad Lalovic. “Moving an event this close to the competition date is not ideal, but we must consider the health of the athletes and ensure that everyone who wants to compete at the qualifiers has the opportunity.”

Chinese wrestlers eligible to compete in the Olympic qualification event have been routed to Serbia where they are going through an extensive quarantine process. The athletes were evaluated by medical professionals in China before leaving and by local officials upon arrival in Serbia.

While in Serbia the Chinese wrestlers will be provided workout equipment, wrestling mats, and all other items necessary for a healthy training camp. From Belgrade the wrestlers will fly to Bishkek for the competition.