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ITU shuts down all activities until April 30

Triathlon Canada also suspends event season until April 30.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has suspended all competitions, courses, camps and other activities until the end of April.

We won’t be seeing any finish line celebrations at ITU events for a few months. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

In a release distributed early this morning, the ITU has shut down all activities until the end of April, although the notice does cryptically warn that the suspension might last until longer:

“All the events in the World Triathlon and Continental calendars will be immediately postponed until further notice,” the notice reads.

“This is a decision that is hard to take, and you can have my word that we are taking it with the health and safety of athletes, coaches, officials, facilitators, staff, volunteers and spectators, all the triathlon family, as the top priority,” says Marisol Casado, the president of the ITU. “We are taking this decision convinced that we all have to take our part to prevent and stop the spread of the virus. It is our responsibility, as a society. And having our athletes, coaches, officials and staff travelling around the world at this challenging time is not something that we in World Triathlon are willing to risk.”

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Here’s the full text of the announcement from the ITU:

In the light of the rapid spread worldwide of COVD-19, the Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union has decided to suspend all activities until the 30th April. The measure includes the suspension of all the competitions in the World Triathlon calendar, courses, camps and other activities, and therefore all the World Ranking, Olympic Qualification Ranking, Paratriathlon Ranking and Paralympic Qualification Rankings will be immediately frozen, from Monday 16th of March 2020.
 
World Triathlon President and IOC member, Marisol Casado, said: “This is a decision that is hard to take, and you can have my word that we are taking it with the health and safety of athletes, coaches, officials, facilitators, staff, volunteers and spectators, all the triathlon family, as the top priority. We are taking this decision convinced that we all have to take our part to prevent and stop the spread of the virus. It is our responsibility, as a society. And having our athletes, coaches, officials and staff travelling around the world at this challenging time is not something that we in World Triathlon are willing to risk”.
 
All the events in the World Triathlon and Continental calendars will be immediately postponed until further notice. ITU strongly recommends all the affiliated National Federations to extend the measures as well in their territories, to avoid spreading the virus. All World Triathlon staff will be working from home during these weeks.
 
World Triathlon will continue working during this time to try to reallocate the events after the 30th 0f April when possible and will work with all stakeholders to undertake further actions if needed regarding the Olympic and Paralympic qualification rankings.
 
World Triathlon will continue evaluating the situation on a daily basis and will announce any further change in the situation as soon as possible to all stakeholders when this happens.

Triathlon Canada suspends event season until April 30

Before the ITU notice came out, we also learned from Triathlon Canada that the triathlon event season in Canada would be suspended until April 30.

“We felt it was most prudent to ensure we as a sport are doing our part to protect our communities and fellow vulnerable citizens during this unprecedented time,” says Triathlon Canada CEO Kim Van Bruggen.

“Our goal is to ensure that we have a successful racing season—including staging world championship events in Montreal and Edmonton later this summer,” Van Bruggen continues. “Our hope is that by taking extra precautionary measures now, we will all be able to be back on a start line as soon as possible.”

Here’s the full text of the notice from Triathlon Canada:

Triathlon Canada, along with our provincial partners have made the difficult decision to suspend the triathlon event season until April 30th, 2020. As the situation is changing rapidly in Canada and around the globe, we felt it was most prudent to ensure we as a sport are doing our part to protect our communities and fellow vulnerable citizens during this unprecedented time. 

Our goal is to ensure that we have a successful racing season—including staging world championship events in Montreal and Edmonton later this summer. Our hope is that by taking extra precautionary measures now, we will all be able to be back on a start line as soon as possible.

This suspension may be extended upon review of the global and national situation in the coming weeks.  This decision has been made in keeping with the current national and provincial recommendations around mass participation events and large public gatherings.

We will continue to provide regular updates in the coming days and weeks.
 
Key Recommendations:

  • Work within the directives of your provincial governing bodies and provincial public health agencies to guide your participation in club and training activities
  • Adopt or continue to follow the social distancing protocols provided by the federal government
  • Limit all non-essential international travel, and self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada

Additional Information:

  • Click here for the NSO/PSO/Club response outline
  • Click here for an infographic regarding self-isolation for those returning to Canada

Continue to train – albeit taking precautionary measures.  The season will eventually be upon us. Be well!

Kim Van Bruggen
Chief Executive Officer
Triathlon Canada