The World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships has been canceled due to a surge in coronavirus infections in the host country of Bermuda. The tournament was scheduled to be held from October 15-17.
Bermuda has recorded 4,218 COVID-19 positive cases and 38 deaths since the virus outbreak. The organizers used a risk assessment test, approved by the World Heath Organization (WHO), to take the decision to cancel the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships.
In a statement, the World Triathlon said:
"The analysis considered the island’s recent spike in COVID-19 infections in addition to the Bermuda hospital’s elevated COVID-19 patient intake, and the Organizing Committee in consultation with World Triathlon made the decision not to proceed with the October event. The health and safety of all athletes, coaches, staff, contractors, volunteers, and the people of the island was the primary consideration."
Triathlon event could return to the island nation in the future
It is still unclear if the tournament will be rescheduled at a later date, but the governing body said a triathlon event might be organized in Bermuda in the future.
"The entire World Triathlon family is disheartened that the global pandemic continues to impact our events, but we are committed to returning to Bermuda," said World Triathlon. "We are confident in the island’s rigorous pandemic management and reputation for delivering safe and outstanding sporting events. Conversations are taking place presently to identify other exciting future opportunities, including a triathlon on the island of Bermuda."
The three-day, multiple-championships program was supposed to be held in the city of Hamilton. The inclusion of a new event — the super-sprint racing for the Elite World Championship Series — was on the cards.
The triathlon event was also supposed to include the U-19 World Championships, Age-Group Sprint World Championships, Mixed Relay World Championships for all categories, as well as an Open division for non-qualifiers.
Around 4,000 athletes - including Flora Duffy, who became Bermuda's first Olympic gold medalist after winning the women's event at the Tokyo Olympics – were expected to compete.