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The World Athletics Championships in Oregon will now take place on July 15-24, 2022, following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Oregon event was originally scheduled for August 6-15 next year but has moved to the following summer to avoid a clash with the Tokyo Games in the July and August.

It will create what World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has described as “a bonanza for athletics fans around the world”, with the global athletics event to be closely followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the multi-sport European Championships in Munich.

In a statement, athletics’ global governing body said: “The World Athletics Council approved the new dates this week after extensive discussions with the sport’s stakeholders including organisers of two other major championships due to take place in July-August 2022, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the multi-sport European Championships in Munich.

“The new schedule will prevent a direct conflict between any of these major events and, with careful programming, will ensure athletes can compete in up to three world-class competitions.”

Coe said: “This will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world.

“They will be treated to six weeks of absolutely first-class athletics. More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 of our Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in. We were also very mindful that we did not want to damage the other major championships in 2022, because they are also very important to our sport.

“We believe we have found a solution that will allow athletes who are eligible for the other two events to compete in them with the Commonwealth Games Federation planning to stage the athletics programme towards the end of their event. This will showcase our sport to its best advantage in the circumstances and we will continue collaborating with all competitions on the detailed programming.

“We would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote our sport and its stars around the globe over a six-week period.

“I want to particularly thank Oregon 21 LLC and all its stakeholders for their collaboration and flexibility as well as all World Athletics’ partners and broadcasters who are so critical to delivering the Games and taking it into the homes of millions of fans.”

Niels de Vos, executive director of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, said: “I should like to thank Oregon’s stakeholders for committing so early to the postponement, allowing maximum flexibility on dates for our friends at World Athletics, just as they have been flexible with us in ensuring our plans can remain on track despite the 12 month postponement.

“Oregon 22, as we must now get used to calling it, will be kickstarting a global festival of international track and field championships in the summer of 2022 that will be a fantastic experience for athletes and fans alike.”

Also on Wednesday it was announced that World Athletics has postponed the bidding processes for the 2023 World Athletics Series events, with processes for that year’s World Cross Country Championships and World Athletics Relays now set to open in November.

Source: AW

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