Due to the ongoing Coronavirus emergency in China, the IFSC have released a statement about possibly cancelling Climbing World Cup events. The IFSC have worked together with the Chinese Mountaineering Association (CMA) to get a plan together. Cancellation is a last resort and some of the events may be delayed or moved to different venues and countries instead.
The IFSC have also been very supportive and sent 10,000 breathing masks to help the CMA and has encouraged other Member Federations to do similar. The Coronavirus spread quickly from the province of Wuhan where it was first diagnosed, and has now been found in countries around the world. There have been over 31 thousand cases and 637 reported deaths so far. At a rate of over 3,000 new cases reported per day this could be classified as a pandemic.
There have been suggestions that the events could be held in other venues the IFSC is already planning to use - like the Moscow event that the European Championships are due to be held. This could just be a case of a new set of routes being put up as the majority of the rest of the event organization could be slightly rejigged.
There are three events in the IFSC World Cup 2020 due to be held in China - Two in Chongqing and one in Wujiang. The first is due to start on the 19th of April is Wujiang and will shortly be followed by the Asian Championship due to start a few days later on the 25th in Chongqing.
In a statement IFSC President Mr. Marco Scolaris said: “First of all we would like to send our best wishes to those affected by the Coronavirus and to those who are directly or indirectly suffering because of the epidemic. At the same time, the health of our athletes and of all the people that work for our Member Federations is our main concern. We all know that we have an obligation towards the International Olympic Committee and our Asian Council; we will make sure that the Qualification System for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is respected, but we will also avoid any risk for anybody’s health.”
The IFSC is due to have an Executive Board teleconference on the 11th of Feb and will make a further decision at that point. It could be that the World Cup events are delayed slightly or moved based on the logistics. The Olympics Climbing may also be cancelled for the same reasons!