2020 Coronavirus and Athletics Updates: Other Virus Impacts and info, 24 March 2020


This is the update on the impacts of the virus, COVID-19, on 24 March 24, 2020...

animated-graphic-2019-nCoV.jpgCoronavirus, photo by Journalist Resource


DARMSTADT (GER): German Athletics Association President Jurgen Kessing has supported the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, informs Leichtathletik.de. "I think that many will be relieved by the postponement of the Olympic Games in 2021. At the German Athletics Association (DLV), we have no longer seen equal opportunities due to different training and doping control conditions. It is a correct decision, which is extremely important for the credibility of the sport, and has been made by the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government," he said.

MOSCOW (RUS): Recently elected President of the All-Russia Athletics Federation Yevgeniy Yurchenko has said the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be to the advantage of Russian athletes who are currently limited to just 10 neutral athlete places, informs Sport Express. "We have time for constructive dialogue, competent interaction and smart negotiations with World Athletics to change the situation both with the limit of participation of Russian athletes in major international competitions and with the status of the VFLA as a member of the international athletics family by the start of the Games," he said.

HENGELO (NED): The historic FBK Games in Hengelo on 1 June (WA Continental Tour Gold) will not take place due to the coronavirus. "It's with a heavy heart that we had to take this decision. Together with everyone else we have an obligation to stop this virus and therefore this is the only right thing to do. We have looked at opportunities to organise the event at a later date this year but due to an overloaded sports calendar later in the fall it proved impossible to organise an event at the level that we want to give to our fans and the athletes. We have decided to postpone the event by a year and organise it on June 6, 2021," says a statement.

KANAKURI (JPN): The first major meeting on the Japanese calendar, the Kanakuri Memorial Meet on 11 April, has been cancelled, informs Japan Running News.

HANNOVER (GER): The Hannover Marathon on 26 April will not be taking place due to the coronavirus, informs Leichtathletik.de. The event also incorporated the German Half Marathon Championships and a new date is currently being sought for the event.

SALZBURG (AUT): The Salzburg Marathon on 17 May has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

REGENSBURG (GER): The Regensburg Marathon on 23-24 May has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, informs Leichtathletik.de.

DAKAR (SEN): The president of the African Athletics Confederation, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum to Radio France Internationale: "We will have to postpone the World u20 in Nairobi as well as our African championships that was planned for June in Algiers". The African Confederation confirmed the African championships that were to be held in Algiers (24-28 June) will be staged in the summer of 2021.

POTCHEFSTROOM (RSA): Former World champion in men's high jump Bohdan Bondarenko finished his training camp in South Africa due to the postponing of Tokyo Olympics. "I'm glad that I can return home now! Tomorrow I am leaving the training camp and can't wait to go back to my homeland, to be next to my family in this hard time. It will be a very difficult journey from South Africa to Ukraine via Johannesburg, Addis Ababa, Istanbul, Kyiv and Kharkiv," Bondarenko posted in his Facebook. High jumpers Yuliya Levchenko and Iryna Herashchenko as well as long jumper Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk are on their way to Kyiv from Antalya. Head coach of the Ukrainian athletics team Vyacheslav Tyrtyshnyk noted that terms of training camps abroad are extended. "For now, we prolonged training camp in Portugal for Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Anna Ryzhykova only thanks to our own contacts and agreements as new order wasn't signed by the sports ministry yet. 800m runner Olha Lyakhova is continuing her trainings in Kenya, race walk European champion Maryan Zakalnytskyy is still staying in Kyrgyzstan. Also, two groups continue their pre-season preparation in Poland and Turkey," Tyrtyshnyk told EME News.

PARIS (FRA): Organizers of the Paris 2024 Games welcomed the decision of Tokyo Games to be held in summer 2021. "Their example should make us stronger, more able to face the difficulties of our time. With solidarity, we will stand by the Japanese Organizing Committee to bring all our support for the organizational challenge that awaits them," said among other their statement.

KINGSTON (JAM): Veteran athletics coach Glen Mills is hoping a postponement or cancellation of this year's Olympic Games will not mean that the 2020 athletics season will be cancelled, but would cut a significant portion of track-and-field athletes' earnings. Mills, who is at the forefront of calls to postpone the Games because of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, said that events like the Jamaica International Invitational Meet and the Racers Grand Prix do more than just provide entertainment for the public, as a number of athletes without shoe contracts are in position to earn by participating in these competitions. "If the Olympics are postponed, then meets like Racers Grand Prix could be pushed back to later in the summer if the state of the outbreak improves, because the athletes need to make some money to be able to continue the business of sport," Mills said. Writes Jamaica Gleaner.

TOKYO (JPN): There is no plan to change the location of the Olympic marathon from the Hokkaido island and city of Sapporo even with the delay of the Games to next year, the president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, said on Tuesday. Organisers previously moved the marathon to Hokkaido because of concerns about the heat in Tokyo during the summer. Informs Reuters.

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): The staging of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will not be impacted by the postponement of Tokyo 2020, says the federation chief. That could see both next year's World Athletics Championships and the swimming equivalent moved to 2022. "We remain fully committed to hosting in Birmingham in 2022," Games chief David Grevemberg said. The Games are currently planned for July 27 - August 7, 2022.

CHENGDU (CHN): The World University Games planned for 2021 in Chengdu, China (8-19 August) are now also under question.

AMSTERDAM (NED): Dutch Athletics Federation announced postponement of national championships which were planned for June 26-28 in Den Haag. There are alternative dates considered for the fall. The Gouden Spike meet of Leiden which was planned for June 13 is postponed for 2021.

TORONTO (CAN): The one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could open the door for convicted drug cheats to compete for medals, an issue that will need to addressed, USADA chief Travis Tygart said on Tuesday. "This was an issue raised on a call of national anti-doping agencies from 21 countries today," Tygart told Reuters. "It is one of many complex issues that will have to be thought through and determined now that the Games have been postponed." Writes Reuters.

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