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Swine flu delays Guo's return as China pulls out

OLYMPIC diving champion Guo Jingjing's return to the pool will be delayed after China withdrew from a grand prix diving event in the United States next month because of the global swine flu scare.

China Sports Daily said the national diving team, which won seven of the eight gold medals at last year's Beijing Olympics, would not take part in the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale from May 7-10.

Guo, who won her third and fourth Olympic golds last August, had been planning to return to competition for the first time since the Games at the tournament but has now canceled her flight.

The United States has reported 65 cases of the new strain of flu, which has already killed 159 people in Mexico.

The Chinese team returned to Beijing on Tuesday from Mexico City, where it won seven of eight titles at a world series event.

The event went ahead despite the flu outbreak although no spectators were allowed in. The divers underwent physical checks, local media reported.

There have been other cancellations and pull-outs elsewhere as well.

Motor racing, soccer and golf were all impacted by the growing fears surrounding the H1N1 virus.

Motor racing's A1 Grand Prix series canceled its final race of the season in Mexico, and at least 10 golfers withdrew from a Canadian Tour event in Mexico.

On Tuesday, the remainder of soccer's CONCACAF under-17 championship in Tijuana had been canceled with Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the US due to contest the semifinals.

A1 GP organizers said the decision to cancel its final race had been taken reluctantly.

"To say we are disappointed to have to make this call is an understatement," A1 GP chairman Tony Teixeira said in a statement.

"We must have the safety of all members of the A1 GP community, as well as the thousands of loyal fans in Mexico City as our prime concern."

Golfers withdrew from the San Luis Potosi Open as well. The Mexican event is part of the Canadian Tour - part of the feeder system for the main US PGA Tour. The La Loma Golf Club has been closed to the public and no fans or local caddies will attend.


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