What you need to know:
- Since coronavirus pandemic struck last year, most sporting events were cancelled globally, affecting athletes who depend on sport to make a living.
In Silesia, Poland
Athletes will continue running in empty stadiums due to the Covid-19 pandemic, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said.
Since coronavirus pandemic struck last year, most sporting events were cancelled globally, affecting athletes who depend on sport to make a living.
Speaking on Friday in Silesia, Poland on the eve of the 2021 World Athletics Relay Championships, Coe said that athletes safety is paramount, adding that competitions will continue in empty stadiums without fans.
“Sports has to go on and that’s why we had to organise this event. We still can’t allow athletics fans in the stadium due to the pandemic which has caused havoc across the sporting world,” said Coe.
He noted that there are some countries that are still hard hit by the virus and have issued travel advisory, something he said World Athletics officials have no control over.
“We are aware many athletes would have loved to compete but some of the countries are under lock down, with others having travel advisory due to the pandemic.
“Our expectations is that next year by such a time everything will have come to normalcy so that everybody can enjoy the sport across the world,” he added.
He also said that World Athletics has had to create a competition and make athletes go back to training as athletes seek to qualify for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
“We had to create a chance for teams and athletes to qualify for the Olympics Games and I want to really thank the Poland government for the support they gave World Athletics while planning for the event.
“We have done all that’s possible to make sure the athletes and the technical team are safe as one way of sports continuation,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic forced countries like USA, Jamaica, India and Canada to withdraw from the championship. All athletes have to be tested after every 48 hours in Poland.
Teams arriving for the competition must go through a mandatory test before heading to the hotel where they have to await for the results for two hours.
If one turns positive of the virus, he/she has to be quarantined for 10 days before the test is done again where if you turn out to be negative, you will be cleared.
The World Relays which is in it’s fifth edition is expected to kick off today with the finals being held Sunday.