The World Athletics has postponed the 2020 World Indoor Championships that were scheduled for Nanjing, China due to the Coronavirus that has hit the country.
The biannual event that was slated for March 13-15, 2020 will now be held March 2021.
“We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances,” World Athletics said in a press release.
“The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.”
“We have considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and would like to thank the cities that have volunteered to host the championships. However, given concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China, we have decided not to go with this option, as it may lead to further postponement at a later date.”
“The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event. We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event.”
“We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners, and the Nanjing organizing committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.”
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has announced the postponement of all domestic games in 2020 because of the coronavirus.
According to various news outlets, the death toll in China from the new coronavirus has risen to 170. Some 7,711 people in China are now confirmed to have the infection, which has spread from Wuhan’s Hubei province to every one of China’s 31 provinces.