European Athletics hopeful Paris 2020 championships can go ahead
The organisers of the European Athletics Championship are hoping the five-day event can still go ahead in August despite the current coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in this year's Olympic Games being postponed.
Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, which were scheduled for July to September, would now take place in 2021.
However, following a two-day video conference meeting, European Athletics said on Wednesday it would like to proceed with its continental championships, which are due to take place in the French capital Paris from 25 to 30 August.
Periklis Iakovakis, the chairman of the athletes committee, said: “To have the light at the end of the tunnel that Paris 2020 may still go ahead is something positive in these extremely hard times.
“This has been a stressful and confusing period for athletes, we have lost our structure and our sense of normality. We join larger communities in focusing on the health and well-being of everyone during the Covid-19 outbreak.”
The local organising committee for the championships has been instructed to provide an “immediate and detailed feasibility study for the event” to the EA executive board.
Dobromir Karamarinov, the EA vice-president and interim president, said: “It is clear we are currently living in unprecedented times that require us to be flexible, open-minded and realistic. Above all, the health and safety of our athletes, officials, fans, volunteers, staff and everyone involved in European athletics must be our very top priority.”
The meeting was chaired by Karamarinov in the absence of EA president Svein Arne Hansen who is convalescing after suffering a stroke.
The EA executive board yesterday announced the rescheduling of various events, with this year's European 10,000m Cup and European Mountain Running Championships moved to 2021.
The European Athletics Under-18 Championships, scheduled for 16 to 19 July in the Italian city Rieti, will not now take place in 2020.
Meanwhile, the 2020 European Throwing Cup, scheduled for between 21 to 22 March in Leiria, Portugal, has now been cancelled having initially been postponed.