Track and field athletes suffered another blow ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. On Tuesday (March 17), the Wanda Diamond League announced changes to its 2020 season timetable in response to the growing global crisis around the new coronavirus.
This mean athletes’ preparation for the July 24 to August 9 Olympic Games is cut short, again strengthing the calls for postponement or cancellation.
Several sporting events have been cancelled or postponed due to the deadly coronavirus, which has so far affected 183,805 people and caused 7,178 deaths.
“Due to the growing number of countries affected by the COVID-19 virus, the first three meetings of the 2020 Wanda Diamond League season, scheduled for April 17 in Qatar, 9th and 16th May 2020 in China, cannot be held as planned,” the Diamond League said in a statement.
The Diamond League said the”decision was made in close consultation with organising committees, local authorities and sports governing bodies.”
Qatar suspended incoming flights for at least two weeks, and the government banned all national and international events for 30 days.
“While the number of new infections is now decreasing in China, the fact remains that preparations for the meetings have been set back by several weeks,” the release said.
It also said, “the closed borders and travel restrictions make it impossible to organise top-level international competitions.”
The plan is to stage the Shanghai event on August 13.
“New dates for Doha and the second meeting in China remain to be announced,” the statement said while hinting at dates after the Wanda Diamond League Final in Zurich from 9th through September 11.
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