Tokyo Olympics 2020: Coronavirus outbreak causes cancellation of Kiwi boxers' Olympic qualification tournament

The Olympic hopes of New Zealand's boxers are up in the air after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) cancelled a qualifying tournament in Wuhan due to concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese city was scheduled to host the Asia/Oceania qualifier from February 3-14.

Hundreds of cases of the illness have been recorded in Wuhan, located near the centre of China, east of Shanghai. It spread from there to other Chinese cities and then to other countries, including Japan, the United States and Thailand.

Chinese authorities have advised people to stop traveling into and out of Wuhan, the city at the heart of the outbreak.

There have been over 500 confirmed cases of the flu-like virus, which has caused fatalities.   

The decision to cancel the event follows a similar move to relocate Olympic women's football qualifiers from Wuhan to Nanjing.

No alternative arrangements for the boxing, for athletes from the Asia and Oceania regions, has been announced.

"The Task Force continues to work closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee [COC] and all partners to explore alternatives and will immediately National Olympic Committees, National Federations and officials on any development," a statement on the IOC website read. 

A nine-person New Zealand team had been preparing for the qualifiers in Thailand and were due to travel to China on Friday. 

The New Zealand team of five men and four women is headed by two-time Commonwealth Games heavyweight champion David Nyika.