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Kiwi boxers' Olympic hopes up in the air after qualifying event cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

The Olympic hopes of New Zealand boxers are up in the air after the International Olympic Committee announced this morning they have cancelled an upcoming qualifying tournament in China due to concerns around the coronavirus outbreak in China.

David Nyika (Blue) and Jason Whateley compete in the Men's 91kg Final on day 10 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Source: Getty

The IOC confirmed this morning the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament has been axed due to the virus' spread.

The viral illness that has infected more than 400 people and killed at least 17 could spread further. As well as China there are confirmed cases of the virus in Thailand, South Korea the United States and Taiwan.

Kiwi boxers' Olympic hopes up in the air after qualifying event cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

The tournament was scheduled to take place in Wuhan from February 3-14 but now organisers are scrambling for other options with the event offering up to five Olympic berths in each category with a semi-final finish securing a place in Tokyo.

However, the IOC haven't announced any alternative arrangements after the cancellation.

New Zealand had planned to send a nine-strong team to the event consisting of five men and four women with two-time Commonwealth Games heavyweight champion David Nyika leading the charge.

A trip to France later this year could end up being the Kiwi fighters' only choice with a last-chance World Qualification tournament being held in Paris in May.