As the 2020 triathlon season nears, the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to the postponement of a number of triathlon events already – we can expect more announcements like these over the next few weeks.
So how much has triathlon been affected by the Coronavirus?
Here’s some of the latest updates:
Ironman cancels Superseal triathlon
Here’s an update just sent out by Ironman on Coronado, California’s Superseal triathlon race:
Based on the mandate from the California Department of Public Health, the 2020 SUPERSEAL triathlon, originally scheduled for March 15 has been cancelled. Athletes that are registered for the event will receive an email with further details. In what has been a continually evolving and challenging time globally, we recognize that the cancellation may come as a disappointment but look forward to providing athletes with an exceptional race experience in the future.
Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico postponed
The following note was just posted on the Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico page on Ironman.com:
Based on the mandate from the Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vazquez Garced, the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico triathlon, originally scheduled for March 15 has been postponed. The new event date, which is currently being finalized with local officials, will be communicated as soon as possible. Athletes that are registered for the event will receive an email in the coming days with further details. If you have additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITU Postpones Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon and Paratriathlon World Cups
While this weekend’s Panamerican Cup event in Sarasota-Bradenton will go ahead, the following week’s world cup event has been postponed. Here’s part of the update sent by the ITU today:
Due to the current international travel restrictions recently announced by the U.S. government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) – in consultation with USA Triathlon, the organizing committee and the local authorities of Florida – has made the decision to postpone the 2020 ITU Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup and the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, originally scheduled to take place on March 22.
The ITU will work with organizers and the region to try and come up with a suitable date to reschedule the races later in the season, according to the release.
Previously reported news:
The ITU moves the Paratriathlon World Championship from Milan to Montreal
The coronavirus outbreak has hit Italy hardest of all the European countries, with over 12,000 total cases and, as of Wednesday, March 11, over 800 deaths. So it comes as no surprise that the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has decided to move the 2020 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, which were to take place on May 2, from Milan to Montreal.
The race will take place in the last week of June, which will still be “within the Paralympic Qualification period,” according to a release sent by the ITU.
The Arzachena World Cup, which was to take place in Italy at the end of May, has been moved to October 2020.
Ironman Taiwan postponed to 2021
While Ironman hasn’t “cancelled” any events, it has “postponed” Ironman Taiwan for a year. Here’s the text that appears on the Ironman Taiwan website:
As has been well publicized, the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency of international concern as it relates to the global impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In alignment with the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocol, and with athlete health and safety being an utmost priority, IRONMAN Officials have decided to postpone the 2020 IRONMAN Taiwan triathlon to 21 March, 2021.
- IRONMAN Taiwan defers to 21 March, 2021
- IRONKIDS in Penghu defers to 20 March, 2021
All registered athletes of the 2020 IRONMAN Taiwan and 2020 IRONKIDS in Penghu will have their race registration automatically deferred to the new race date. If you are unable to attend the event on 20-21 March, 2021, you can apply for a full refund of your current race registration and additional purchases
Super League NEOM postponed
According to a release sent out yesterday, Super League has postponed the Super League Triathlon NEOM 2020: The Opener event until sometime “towards the end of the year.”
On January 31 Triathlon Canada posted a coronavirus update and advisory in which is suggested that all athletes and coaches should heed the government’s advisory to “avoid all essential travel” to China.
We reported in February that Xterra had cancelled its Asia-Pacific Championships in Taiwan, that the ITU had postponed the World Triathlon Series (WTS) opener in Abu Dhabi, while also postponing other Asian Cup and world cup events and moving a mixed-team relay qualifying event to Italy.
There are still many events moving forward, though – this weekend we’ll see Ironman’s first full-distance race of the season take place in New Zealand, Alistair Brownlee highlight the field at the European Duathlon Championship in Punta Umbra, Spain, and many Canadian and American athletes compete at the CAMTRI Clermont Sprint American Cup.
Here are a few of the latest triathlon updates around the affects of the coronavirus:
USA Triathlon makes statement on coronavirus
USA Triathlon (USAT) provided a statement on March 5, letting athletes know that to date no USAT events had been cancelled.
“At this time, all USA Triathlon events are scheduled to occur as planned. However, the situation continues to evolve, and we will communicate updates to our membership as soon as possible,” the statement read.
That doesn’t mean we can’t expect events in the US to be affected – one has to wonder about the status of Ironman 70.3 California, slated for April 4, as California declared a state of emergency on March 4.
“As we enter triathlon season in the U.S., please be advised that USA Triathlon is in regular contact with the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) concerning coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the national and global sports landscape. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the guidance issued by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).”
ETU statement on coronavirus
On March 3 the European Triathlon Union (ETU) made a statement on the coronavirus.
Below is part of that statement:
With a lot of difficulties due to the Coronavirus crisis, the 2020 season has started.
We have just had a very successful ETU Winter Triathlon Championships in Romania where Italian athletes were admitted to the country with an additional but non-intrusive level of control. All passed the border controls with the minimum of delay.
However, some Countries have suspended their Sporting Events and others have made some restrictions on Athletes coming from certain areas.
Clearly this is a changing scenario as more and more cases are being encountered but equally, each country is assessing the level of risk on a case by case basis.