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Coronavirus ‘overruns’ World Indoor Athletics in China

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PHOTO: NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP

To protect athletes and officials from walking into the dreaded Coronavirus now rampaging all the regions in China, the World Athletics Indoor Championships slated for the city of Nanjing has been cancelled for the year.

The competition, one of the major events line up for athletes in 2020, was earlier scheduled for March 13-15. It has been moved to March 2021.

“It is with regret that we have agreed with the organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing (13-15 March 2020) to postpone the event to March 2021,” a statement by World Athletics stated yesterday.

“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,” the statement further said.

Nanjing, capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, is roughly 300km up the Yangtze River from the city of Shanghai. It was the national capital during part of the Ming dynasty.

The city is home to many monuments and landmarks, including Zhonghua Gate (Gate of China), a preserved 14th-century section of the massive wall that contained the old city’s southern entrance.

However, World Athletics says that despite the postponement of the World Indoor Championships due to the Coronavirus in China, there is still plenty of indoor action to look forward to this season

The World Athletics Indoor Tour got underway last weekend in Boston and will continue this weekend in Karlsruhe. It will head to Dusseldorf on February 4, Torun on February 8, Glasgow on February 15, before taking in the newest addition to the circuit, Lievin on February 19.

The final meeting on the World Athletics Indoor Tour will be held in Madrid, Spain on February 21.

According to World Athletics, many sport’s leading stars have confirmed their attendance on the World Athletics Indoor Tour and almost all of the remaining meetings have sold out.


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