by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – WHILE the world of sports reels from the suspension of entire events in the wake of the raging coronavirus (COVID-19), some postponements could emerge a blessing in disguise for athletes and fans alike.
This is especially so for 2022 after the World Athletics Championships Oregon was deferred to that year.
The championships were initially set for August 2021 but have been rescheduled to avoid a clash with the Olympic and Paralympic Games that have been moved to next year.
This would mean more global athletics tournaments as the event will now be held in the same year two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022 – the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (in England) and the multi-sport European Championships in Munich (Germany).
The World Athletics Council, which has approved the new dates, said the new schedule would prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, would ensure athletes could compete in up to three world-class competitions.
“This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world,” Sebastian Coe, the World Athletics president, said.
“They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics,” the athletics executive added.
Coe believes World Athletics has found a solution that would allow athletes eligible for the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and World Athletics Championships to compete in all events.
“This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances. We will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming,” he said.
Niels de Vos, Executive Director of the World Athletics Championships pledged a memorable 2022.
“Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kick starting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike,” de Vos said.
– CAJ News