The World Indoor Athletics Championships that were scheduled for China next year have been postponed until March 2025, organisers announced Thursday, with Beijing’s zero-Covid policy continuing to cast a shadow on international events.
This marks the third time the event, to be held in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, has been postponed since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
“This decision was taken… due to the ongoing pandemic conditions,” the World Athletics Council said, adding that it “regrets” the decision.
“We’re disappointed that we have had to postpone this event again due to circumstances beyond our control,” the organisation’s president Sebastian Coe said.
The 2024 championships to be held in Glasgow will continue as planned, according to the statement.
Despite successfully holding the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 with no major outbreaks, China has cancelled a string of international sporting events this year due to the pandemic.
In May, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that it would be postponing this September’s Asian Games, scheduled to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, to next year.
The same month, China pulled out of hosting the 2023 Asian Cup football tournament, also citing the pandemic.
China has reported more than 1,000 daily new infections of Covid-19 since mid-August, as it struggles to stamp out several nationwide outbreaks affecting major manufacturing and tourism hubs.