British Athletics cancels indoor championships due to COVID-19


FILE PHOTO: Athletics - British Athletics Indoor Championships - Emirates Arena, Glasgow, United Kingdom - February 23, 2020 Holly Archer in action during the Women's 1500 metres REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - British Athletics has cancelled its indoor championships set to begin in Glasgow next month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing body said on Friday.

British Athletics said that the process of testing athletes, coaches, technical officials and volunteers among others would not sufficiently mitigate the risks involved and it had taken the decision to scrap the Feb. 20-21 meet as a precaution.

More than 500 attendees based across Britain and overseas were expected at the event with elite sport allowed to organise competitions despite a COVID-19 lockdown across the United Kingdom to stem the spread of the virus.

"British Athletics recognises our social responsibility to reduce COVID-19 transmission and to not overburden the National Health Service," it said in a statement https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/news-and-features/british-athletics-confirms-cancellation-of-indoor-championships.

The European Indoor Championships are scheduled to be held in Torun, Poland from March 5-7 and British Athletics said it acknowledged athletes vying for Britain and Northern Ireland team selection will need competition to enable qualification.

"Alternative provision that enables smaller, COVID-19-compliant event qualification opportunities is being explored and will be confirmed to eligible athletes by British Athletics in due course," the governing body added.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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