New Delhi: The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Wednesday cancelled this year’s National Championships in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually bringing the season to an end without any competition.
The move was on expected lines after the AFI on Aug. 28 decided to defer the season, earlier scheduled to start on Sept. 12 in view of the global health crisis. There has not been any athletics competition so far this season. A National Throws Open Championships will be held in Patiala on Oct. 26 and 27 and that will be the only worthwhile event at the senior level this year.
A few zonal events in November and the National Youth Championships in Vijaywada in December are the other competitions to be held this year.
The AFI seemed to be hoping that the next season, which will be crucial for Olympics qualification for a number of athletes, will be a normal one with the first Indian Grand Prix in Thiruvananthapuram kick-starting the competitions for 2021 on Feb. 12.
The National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships will be held in Bengaluru from June 25 to 29. All the Indian Grand Prix events, the Federation Cup and the National Inter-State are Olympic qualifying events.
“The competition calendar was re-drawn keeping in mind the rise in the COVID-19 cases across the country. AFI is duty-bound to provide competitions to our athletes but due to the prevailing circumstances we have to take care of the safety of our athletes,” AFI President Adille Sumariwalla said in a release.