While Malaysian athletes may be worried to compete in countries affected by the coronavirus, the Irish women’s hockey team have cancelled their planned trip to Malaysia for the same reason.
Hockey Ireland had earlier picked Malaysia as their warm-weather training destination in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In view of the growing fears around the spread of coronavirus, the Irish team will skip the month long training stint scheduled from mid-March.
A 59-year-old woman from Wuhan is the latest positive case of the coronavirus in Malaysia, bringing the country’s tally to 15.
The Irish squad coached by Sean Dancer had planned to use the trip to Malaysia to replicate the conditions they will experience in Tokyo in the summer, with the extreme heat and high humidity in Malaysia being similar to Japan.
The Irish team is now likely to train in South Africa, where Ireland recently played against the hosts as well as Germany.
Ireland qualified for the Olympics for the first time, after two 0-0 draws against Canada resulted in a shoot-out, which they won on home soil in Dublin.
The Irish would, however, have confirmed a pre-Games camp in July at the Japense town of Iwate.
This morning, Hockey Ireland sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayor of Iwate Town for the @IreWomenHockey pre-Games holding camp in July, which will take place in Iwate, before they join up with other members of @TeamIreland in Tokyo for the @Olympics pic.twitter.com/ihVvPbt63y— Irish Hockey (@irishhockey) February 6, 2020