The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing have been postponed for a third time due to the ongoing pandemic conditions in China. The event will no longer be held from 17-19 March 2023 but sometime in March 2025 – the exact dates have not been confirmed.
This decision was taken by the World Athletics Council with the agreement of both the Nanjing organising committee and the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA).
Nanjing was initially selected to host the world indoors in 2020 but it was postponed to March 2021, 2023 and now 2025.
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, held with no fans at most events, has been the only notable international sports event staged in China since the emergence of COVID-19 in Wuhan, in December 2019.
The country’s strict “zero-COVID” policy has led to the postponement or cancellation of top-tier events across different sports. In May, China gave up hosting rights for the 2023 Asian Cup a week after the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games were pushed back by a year.
The Asian Games 2022, originally scheduled for September this year, will now be held from September 23 to October 8, 2023.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “We’re disappointed that we have had to postpone this event again due to circumstances beyond our control, but we have done so to give certainty to athletes and Member Federations preparing for the 2023 competition season.
“Unfortunately, the timeframe will prevent us from relocating the 2023 event, but the indoor championships will return in 2024 in Glasgow. We have offered Nanjing the 2025 edition because we are mindful of the substantial preparations the LOC has already done to host the event and we want to avoid potential financial losses for all parties. I want to thank CAA and the LOC for their cooperation in resolving this situation.”
The next edition of the World Athletics Indoor Championships will now take place in Glasgow from 1-3 March 2024.
Meanwhile the bid process for the 2026 edition of the championships has already commenced, which is why 2025 has been designated as the year for the Nanjing championships.
Credit: AIPS Media