Coronavirus: Easter Grand Prix cancelled

ORGANISERS have been forced to cancel the 2020 Jersey Grand Prix table tennis event due to a ‘substantial’ decline in registrations and fears over the spread of Coronavirus.

The JTTA's annual Easter Grand Prix attracts some of the country's top players to the Island each year, plus others from further afield in Europe Picture: DAVID FERGUSON
The JTTA's annual Easter Grand Prix attracts some of the country's top players to the Island each year, plus others from further afield in Europe Picture: DAVID FERGUSON

The annual Easter Open was due to celebrate its 14th edition from 10-12 April but Jersey Table Tennis Association officials have made an early call to abandon their plans to reduce the impact on travelling players.

Uncertainty following the collapse of airline Flybe has also been highlighted as a hindrance for non-Island players, who often add considerable glamour to the tournament. The ETTA-ranking event has enjoyed regular visits from some of the leading names in British table tennis since its inception in 2007, including London 2012 Olympian Darius Knight, while it has also boasted an international flavour through the likes of former world number 49 Grigory Vaslov from Russia – the 2019 men’s open champion.

‘Only a handful of UK people had entered the tournament,’ said event organiser Paul Silcock.

‘I still believe a lot more would have entered over the next month but if we let it go another month and 30 or 40 people enter and then the guidance from the UK changes – we’ve got a far bigger problem.

‘In a month’s time things are going to be more serious than what they are now so we’re just being proactive.

‘We are gutted at having to make this decision but believe it is the correct decision based on information received.’

Friendly competitions are likely to be staged for visiting players already booked to travel.

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