Anniversary Games 2020 cancelled because of coronavirus

Anniversary Games 2020 cancelled because of coronavirus

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (centre) wins the women’s 100m at the 2019 Anniversary Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Anniversary Games in London have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, UK Athletics has confirmed.

London Stadium had been scheduled to host the event – also part of the Diamond League season – on 4-5 July.

UK Athletics is “hugely disappointed” to cancel the Games, its chief executive Joanna Coates said.

“It will have a significant financial impact on UK Athletics and wider sport,” Coates added.

“The revenue we generate from events – through ticketing, broadcast and sponsorship – helps administer the sport and provide the essential governance services that we, as an NGB [national governing body], oversee.

“But we must place the safety of the entire athletics family at the forefront of every decision we make during these unprecedented times and ensure we are following government advice.”

In March, Coates said UK Athletics’ finances would take “a hefty blow” if the global pandemic meant it could not be held at London Stadium, which is Premier League club West Ham’s home ground.

UK Athletics modifies the stadium each summer to stage the track and field competition, but there is a possibility West Ham may still be using the stadium in July if the suspended football season resumes.

Meanwhile, the Diamond League season will now run between August and October.

The shortened calendar – which includes the meet in Gateshead on 16 August – and varying training facilities and opportunities for athletes means the points system has also been revised.

Athletes will not earn points this season and there will not be a single, 24-discipline final in Zurich as originally planned.

Along with the London Diamond League event, Rabat and Zurich have also been cancelled.

Provisional Diamond League dates

14 Aug: Monaco16 Aug: Gateshead23 Aug: Stockholm2 Sep: Lausanne4 Sep: Brussels6 Sep: Paris17 Sep: Rome/Naples19 Sep: Shanghai4 Oct: Eugene9 Oct: Doha17 Oct: China (venue tbc)

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