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Massive adjustments after season interrupted by coronavirus pandemic

By Amos Abuga
Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Peris Chepchirchir of Prisons leads a section of the Senior Women’s Cross Country trials at Uhuru Garden. Chepchirchir came in second. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Enormous adjustments to Athletics Kenya’s calender as well as that of World Athletics programmes will have to be made, but that will be determined after the coronavirus pandemic has been arrested.

That was the assessment of AK senior vice-president Paul Mutwii who said while two major events, the 2020 Olympics has been moved to 2021 and World Athletics Championships which was due in Oregon,USA in 2021 has also been moved to 2022, several other events will suffer immensely due to the disease.

It is not the Olympics that has been affected, it is not clear whether the 2020 Diamond League season will take place at all as the world continues to face the Coronavirus challenge.

“First thing first; you know the AK calendar which is aligned with the one from the World Athletics  and ours runs from November to October, and as we speak nothing much as happened.

So locally we can say the 2019-2020 season never happened,”Mutwii told People Sport on telephone yesterday.

“But, globally there are many downsides to that given that events have to be planned for afresh and new dates given.

Making new dates will mean revising the calendar to accommodate events that will have been affected,” he added.

Mutwii says Kenya stands to lose alot should the global body fail to make fresh dates to accommodate the newly-launched Continental Tour which had initially been planned for  May 2,  as well as the World U20 Championships from July 7 to 12, with both competitions initially scheduled for Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“As you know, alot of investment had been put towards having successful events. Both in kind and financially.

The government had invested and ensured prospective junior athletes were put in camps to prepare for the junior Championships. 

Also, Kasarani stadium is undergoing alot of renovations work and maintenance jobs purposely for the two events,” added Mutwii.

There is no communication on whether the World Cross Country Championships slated for March 20 in Bathurst, Australia will go on as planned given that the world indoors Games have since been postponed to around the same time next year.

It’s not clear whether the Africa Cross Country Championships will go on next year, the fate of the Africa Senior Championships which were to take place in Algiers, Algeria, in June will be rescheduled for next year.

“With world Athletics Championships having been moved from 2021 to 2022, it also means the Commonwealth Games which were planned for the summer of 2022 in Birmingham, England, will have to be changed. So, essentially you see the kind of changes that need to be effected,”  he said.