The World Athletics Council has decided to postpone the World Athletics Relays Guangzhou 23, scheduled for 13-14 May 2023, until April/May 2025 (exact dates to be confirmed).
This decision was taken with the agreement of both the Guangzhou organising committee (LOC) and the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA), due to the ongoing pandemic conditions.
The decision to delay the World Athletics Relays impacts on the qualification system for the relay events at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23. Therefore, the World Athletics Competition Commission, upon approval of the Council, has revised the qualification system to include the top eight teams from the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 and the top eight teams from the performance lists.
The philosophy is to replicate a similar qualification system by still qualifying part of the field through direct competition and part through performance in the qualification period.
Details of the changes to the Budapest qualification system are outlined here.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “It is regrettable when we have to postpone an event. However, World Athletics and the local organising committee are both committed to the responsible planning and delivery of the World Athletics Relays, which includes ensuring that athletes from all international federations are able to participate in and enjoy an experience in a safe and healthy environment.
“I want to thank our colleagues at the Chinese Athletics Association and the LOC for their efforts and cooperation in resolving this situation and look forward to 2025 when our hosts are able to stage a spectacular World Athletics Relays.”
The host of the 2024 World Athletics Relays is set to be awarded by the World Athletics Council at their meeting in Rome, Italy, on 30 November.