Guangzhou World Athletics Relays 2023 postponed

World Athletics Relays slated for 2023 in Guangzhou City in China have been postponed to 2025.
The last event was held in 2021 in Silesia, Poland.
The Chengdu World University Games, initially scheduled for the summer of 2021, also moved to 2023.

The World Athletics Council has postponed the World Athletics Relays slated for 2023 in Guangzhou City in China to 2025 due to the Covid-19 Perndemic in the host country.

Athletes in action during the previous edition of the World Athletics relays held in Silesia, Poland, in 2021. Photo/ World Athletics

China’s Guangzhou City got selected as the host through a bidding process in 2021, while Poland’s capital Silesia hosted the 2021 World Athletics Relays.

According to a statement by World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, the council took the agreement to postpone the event following a joint decision between the Guangzhou organizing committee with the Chinese Athletics Association.

“It’s regrettable to postpone this event; However, World Athletics and the local organizing committee are committed to the responsible planning and delivery of the World Athletics Relays. These include ensuring that athletes from all International Federations can participate and enjoy an experience in a safe and healthy environment”.

“Thank you to our colleagues at the Chinese Athletics Association and the local organizing committee for cooperating in resolving the situation. We look forward to 2025 when our hosts can stage a spectacular World Athletics Relays.” Said Coe.

However, the World Athletics Council revised the qualification system to include the top eight teams from the 2022 World Athletics Championships hosted in Oregon and the top eight teams from the performance lists.

The postponement will also affect the new relay qualification process for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest, scheduled for February 2023.
The move will also see the replication of a similar qualification system as part of the field through direct competition and performance through the qualification period.

The World Athletics Relays are just a few significant athletics events in China delayed by COVID-19 restrictions.

Team China poses for a photo after finishing fourth during the men’s 4x100m relay final at the World Athletics Relays at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan, May 12, 2019. /CFP

The Asian Games in Hangzhou, initially slated for September this year, were also rescheduled in May to 2023 by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) due to the rising cases of covid-19 in China.

The Multi-sport edition, which was to mark the 19th edition, was scheduled from the 10th to the 25th of September.

The Chengdu World University Games, initially scheduled for the summer of 2021, also moved to 2023.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in the closure of gyms, stadiums, pools, dance and fitness studios, physiotherapy centres, parks and playgrounds. Many individuals could not actively participate outside their homes’ regular individual or group sporting or physical activities.

The World Athletics Relays brings together teams from different nations to compete for the country against other countries in an exciting two-day stadium event.

Up to four individuals team up to run for their nation’s pride, with teams racing in different formats, including the relatively new mixed relays. Spectators can get behind both the athletes and their favourite countries, waving flags passionately as the thrills, and sometimes spills, of the drama unfolds.

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