World Indoor Championships in China postponed due to coronavirus concerns

By Sports Desk January 29, 2020

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing has been postponed until next year because of fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.

Over 130 people have reportedly died in China after contracting the SARS-like condition in recent weeks, and the World Health Organisation called for global action to combat the deadly outbreak on Wednesday.

World Athletics has decided it would be wrong to stage a major sporting event in China given the current circumstances, but said it intends to hold the event in Nanjing 12 months later than planned.

The championships had been scheduled for March 13-15, and World Athletics said in a statement: "It is with regret that we have agreed with the organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing to postpone the event to March 2021.

"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 advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.

"We have considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and would like to thank the cities that have volunteered to host the championships.

"However, given concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China, we have decided not to go with this option, as it may lead to further postponement at a later date."

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