Biggest event of the winter season, which was due to be held in China in March, is called off due to the coronavirus pandemic

The World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, from March 19-21 has been postponed to March 2023 due to what World Athletics call “significant uncertainty about the state of the pandemic” and with the safety of athletes and officials in mind.

The global governing body has decided with the local organising committee to instead hold the event in two years’ time.

In a statement, World Athletics said: “Whilst we have been liaising with the Organising Committee and the Chinese Athletics Association to evaluate the staging over the last few weeks, given the current global situation, there is still significant uncertainty about the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in the early part of 2021.

“For the safety of our athletes and technical officials, we must duly consider the risks in bringing a large group of people to attend the event under the pandemic situation and fully respect and carry out the pandemic prevention policy of the host country.”

The last World Indoor Championships to be successfully staged was in Birmingham in 2018 (pictured above), whereas the next one now is due to be held in Belgrade in 2022.

On rescheduling the Nanjing event, World Athletics said: “The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) so it is not possible to extend the event to later in the year.

“We would like Nanjing to be the host of our World Indoor Championships given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event so have agreed they will stage the event one year after the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in 2022.”

Plans to hold the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, on March 5-7 are still going ahead, though. In addition, World Indoor Tour events are set to take place in the new year across 12 countries in Europe and North America.

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