The 2020 Asian Water Polo Championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Asia. Originally the tournament was to be held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from February 12th to February 16th 2020. In addition, the tournament was supposed to decide which nations will compete at the Olympics as the winner of the men’s and women’s tournament would have booked their spot.
Instead, FINA has decided to use the results from the water polo tournament at the 2018 Asian Games as reported by Swimming World Magazine. The men’s tournament was won by Kazakhstan who went undefeated including an 8-7 victory over Japan during the final. On the women’s side it was China who won the six-team round robin tournament by winning all five of their matches.
This will be Kazakhstan’s four appearance at the Olympics as an independent nation while this will be China’s fourth straight appearance to the games. Other Asian nations will have one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics via the final Olympic qualifying tournament. Currently the next two highest ranked eligible nations at the 2018 Asian Games are set to participate with Iran and China competing in the men’s qualifier and Kazakhstan and Thailand competing in the women’s qualifier. Should they withdraw the next highest ranked nation will then get the opportunity to compete.