Will the ISTAF athletics meet in Berlin set the model for future meets to follow in our attempted return to normal?

Green light for Go and ISTAF 2020

The oldest athletics meet in the world will take place as planned on Sunday, September 13. It will be one of the first sports events where spectators will be present despite measures in force to do with social distancing as caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The ISTAF assure fans that thanks to a detailed shielding and hygiene concept, they plan to expect up to 3,500 fans in Berlin’s Olympic stadium, Olympiastadion Berlin. Together with television viewers, will have the chance to take in the meet. The ISTAF is a World Athletics Continental Tour meet.

Swedish world record holder in the pole vault, Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, has confirmed his participation. Also confirmed is local favourite Gesa Krause, who last year broke the world best for the women’s 2,000m steeplechase in the Olympiastadion. Krause is the 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist from the World Championships last year.

Meet director Martin Seeber said: “Our aim is that ISTAF can set down a marker for the sport and be a beacon for athletics. Together with our partners, we want to show that even in these difficult times we are there for the fans and athletes. Certainly, it will be different with 3,500 instead of the usual 45,000 spectators, but perhaps it can be a first small step back towards normalcy.”

Details of these plans will be announced nearer to the event. “We are delighted that with our comprehensive shielding and hygiene concept it will be possible for at least several thousand spectators to be present,” added Seeber. “At the core of our planning is the safety and health of everyone. We want to say a big thank you to everyone concerned, especially the medical services, the Senate Administration for the Interior and Sport, the respective health department and our partners, that they have shared the journey to this point and we now have the green light.”