March’s World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China have been postponed to 2021, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the host nation.
World Athletics made the announcement about the biennial championships on Wednesday, citing safety concerns.
World Athletics to postpone World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020 to March 2021.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) January 29, 2020
“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,” the World Athletics release said.
The meet was set to take place on March 13th through the 15th.
“We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.”
Nanjing is 300 miles from Wuhan, the city where the first case was reported on December 31st, 2019. Wuhan remains on lockdown and countries have begun evacuating their citizens.
As of Wednesday, there were 6,061 cases of the virus in China. 132 people have died. There have also been confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Australia and several other nations.
World Athletics said they discussed moving the championships to another location, but were worried about the spread of the virus throughout the world. Instead, they will keep the meet in Nanjing and move it to 2021.