UK Athletics has cancelled next month’s British Indoor Championships because of safety concerns around the pandemic.
The meet, which was scheduled for February 20-21 in Glasgow, was due to act as a qualifier for the European Indoors in Poland in March.
With those latter championships yet to be cancelled, the shelving of the British Indoors has given UKA the headache of needing to arrange smaller Covid-compliant meets on an event-by-event basis that could serve as qualifiers for Poland.
A UKA statement said: ‘The decision was taken in light of the ongoing pandemic to ensure the safety of all those due to participate; athletes, coaches, technical officials, volunteers, event and venue staff as well as protecting the Glasgow community.
‘At the present time, the process of testing all those attending the Championships from across the UK, seen as an essential measure, would not sufficiently mitigate the risks.
‘British Athletics recognises our wider social responsibility to reduce Covid-19 transmission and to not over-burden the NHS.
‘Whilst elite sport has been granted the privilege of an exemption to enable training and competition to continue, the logistics of safely staging a national championships comprising approximately 500+ attendees based across the UK and overseas need to be balanced with the risks to those involved, the local community, and the current medical climate.’
It added: ‘With the European Indoor Championships currently scheduled to take place in Torun, Poland, March 5-7, British Athletics acknowledges that the cohort of athletes vying for GB & NI team selection will need competition to enable qualification.
‘Therefore, alternative provision that enables smaller, Covid-19-compliant event qualification opportunities is being explored and will be confirmed to eligible athletes in due course.’