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In light of concerns over the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, World Athletics has decided to postpone the World Indoor Championships that were to be held in Nanjing, China from March 13-15, 2020, to March 2021.

“We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances,” World Athletics said in a statement Wednesday.

“The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.”

World Athletics said it considered the possibility of relocating the event to another country and thanked the cities that volunteered to host the championships. “However, given concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China, we have decided not to go with this option, as it may lead to further postponement at a later date,” it said.

“The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window (up to the end of March) and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event. We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event,” World Athletics said.

“We have chosen not to cancel the championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.”

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