A spate of cancellations, postponements, and warnings have disrupted the athletics world due to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Rome Marathon is cancelled, the Paris Marathon is postponed until the fall and now the World Athletics World Half Marathon Championships that were scheduled for Sunday, March 29 will take place in October. See below for the statement from Athletics Canada.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical director Richard Budgett is urging athletes to follow the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) in dealing with the virus. Leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games starting at the end of July.
This is just to mitigate the further spread of the virus, which has apparently killed up to 3,000 people and infected nearly 100,000 globally.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) cancelled March’s (17th and 18th) annual Symposium that was to take place in Lausanne as Switzerland has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Thailand has withdrawn from the Tokyo 2020 Wheelchair Rugby competition.
Sapporo, Japan, where the Olympic marathon and race walk events are to take place due to milder temperatures than what Tokyo offers – 800K north – have declared a state of emergency due to the virus.
ITU World Triathlon Series event scheduled for Abu Dhabi is postponed.
The Kyrgyz Republic withdraws from hosting an Asian Olympic wrestling qualifier over coronavirus.
It is with regret that we have agreed with the Mayor of Gdynia and the organisers of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 (29 March) to postpone this event until October this year, due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the spread of new Coronavirus internationally.
The current international situation would have seriously compromised the event at this time as many countries are now restricting international travel, invoking quarantines and advising citizens and event organisers to avoid mass gatherings.
First and foremost we had to consider the health and well-being of our athletes, officials and spectators in making this decision.
The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus is at a concerning level in many countries and all major gatherings should be reviewed.
This week we have worked with the Local Organising Committee to identify an appropriate alternative date for both the host city and for the elite competitors and we have agreed on 17 October this year.