Great Britain

Coronavirus: World Athletics president Lord Coe targets 'belated' August start to outdoor season

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe is still hoping that a belated outdoor athletics season can be staged from August to October this year, he said on Friday.

Like all sport around the world, athletics is at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic with little indication of when it will be able to resume.

“We know that different countries are at different stages of managing this pandemic so we are trying to give a structure to our athletes and member federations so they can begin to plan for the year ahead,” Coe said in a World Athletics statement.

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“If it is at all possible, we will schedule a belated outdoor season from August to October to help our athletes to figure out where they stand after the disruption of this year.”

World Athletics has set aside the weekend of 9-10 August as the protected window for national championships.

“This will be followed by what we hope will be a solid international season, but of course we are dependent on the global response to the pandemic,” Coe said. “Nevertheless, we think it’s better to offer our stakeholders some hope of a return to normalcy later this year.

The Olympic Games have been postponed by a year until July-August 2021 and the world athletics championships, due to be held in Oregon in 2021, have been put back to 2022 to avoid a clash between the events.

The world indoor athletics championships, due to have taken place in Nanjing, China, in March have been postponed for a year while the London, Paris and Barcelona marathons were also called off.

The Diamond League postponed its first five meetings of the 2020 season due to be held in April and May in Qatar, China, Stockholm, Naples and Rabat. Five more meetings due to be held in June and July are still listed as going ahead, although they are also in serious in doubt.

World Athletics said an another announcement about the year’s schedule was expected towards the end of the month.


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