With government announcing a lock down in an attempt to contain the coronavirus, Athletics South Africa (ASA) released a skeleton version of its 2020 calendar on Tuesday, as the sport was provisionally placed on hold for the next three months.
Aside from lower key mass participation events in various disciplines which had been called off around the country, ASA confirmed that three top-flight events had been scratched from its fixtures list.
These included the national track and field championships for the physically disabled; the Two Oceans ultra-marathon in Cape Town, which had already been cancelled by the organisers; and the Cape Town 12 OneRun, a World Athletics Silver Label race which had attracted elite athletes from around the world in recent years.
Eight other upcoming events had been postponed indefinitely, including the three-leg Athletix Grand Prix series, the national youth and junior track and field championships in Paarl and the SA Senior Championships in Pretoria.
And two others in KwaZulu-Natal – the Comrades Marathon in June and the CitySurfRun 10km race in July, which incorporated the SA 10km Championships – had not been postponed but were in doubt “until further notice.”
While the first half of the 2020 campaign could be wiped clean, in line with measures taken globally to fight the coronavirus, ASA had not yet cancelled or postponed any of its events in the second half of the year, with government expected to reassess the situation next month.
The next event on the domestic athletics calendar which was not in doubt at this stage was the SA Half-Marathon Championships, scheduled to take place in Port Elizabeth on July 25.