Saturday 19 September, 2020

World Athletics Indoor Championships in China postponed over virus

A doorman distributes hand sanitising liquid for visitors at a luxury mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Panic and pollution drive the market for protective face masks, so business is booming in Asia, where fear of the coronavirus from China is straining supplies and helping make mask-wearing the new normal. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe).

A doorman distributes hand sanitising liquid for visitors at a luxury mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Panic and pollution drive the market for protective face masks, so business is booming in Asia, where fear of the coronavirus from China is straining supplies and helping make mask-wearing the new normal. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe).

World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, have been postponed by a year because of the dangerous virus outbreak in the country, the sport's governing body announced Wednesday.

World Athletics said in a statement that the event will now be held in March 2021 instead of March 13-15 this year.

The governing body said it made the decision “with regret” because of the spreading virus that has killed more than 130 people.

“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 statement from World Athletics said.

“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.”

Nanjing is located about 530 kilometers (330 miles) from Wuhan, where the virus emerged.

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