Athletics Australia and Queensland Athletics today announce the postponement of the Queensland Track Classic due to concerns about the Coronavirus and public safety.
The event, which was scheduled for Friday, March 20, is part of World Athletics Continental Tour; a global series of the world’s best one-day athletic meetings.
Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer Darren Gocher said:
“This is an extremely disappointing announcement to make, but in this uncertain time, the health and well-being of the athletics community must be at the forefront of every decision we make.”
Queensland Athletics Chief Executive Officer David Gynther said:
“The Track Classic is a very important meet for our athletes and for Olympic qualification, we looked at numerous options to hold it safely, but determined the risk to athletes, staff and particularly to our many elderly officials was too great. We will be doing our best to reschedule it as soon as we can.”
“This is unchartered territory, but we will be doing everything in our powers to ensure this meet and the valuable World Ranking points that come with it are available in the future,” Mr. Gynther said.
Athletics Australia President Mark Arbib, said: “we are in contact with World Athletics requesting a review of its qualification processes for the Tokyo Olympics to ensure all countries are able to select athletes in the new health environment.”
“I would like to assure athletes and coaches that we will move swiftly to deliver qualifying events as soon as the opportunity becomes safely available. We are actively monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will continue to look for innovative solutions”
These are difficult days, but with common sense and understanding we can meet this challenge to ensure we select the best possible team for the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mr. Arbib said.
The SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit – set to be held in Lausanne in Switzerland next month – has been cancelled.
The decision comes after the local Government banned events involving more than 50 people until the end of April.
Organisers said almost 2,000 delegates were expected to attend the event, making it infeasible for the summit to take place.
It was due to begin on April 19 and run for six days.
The summit, attended by officials from across the Olympic Movement, had been relocated to Lausanne from Beijing because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our priority is the health and welfare of our International Federations and delegates attending our event, so this decision has been taken with the utmost consideration for those who were planning to attend SportAccord 2020 in Lausanne”, SportAccord President Raffaele Chiulli said.
“This is obviously an extremely unfortunate situation and we are saddened that our community will not be able to attend our annual gathering, but we wanted to announce this decision at the earliest opportunity to enable plans to be adapted accordingly for all concerned.”
Switzerland borders northern Italy, the area in Europe impacted the worst by the coronavirus pandemic.
Italy has in excess of 17,000 COVID-19 cases and the death toll in the country has passed 1,260.