From Claire Beard CEO Triathlon New Zealand.
Last night the ITU Board met to have a special board meeting, during this meeting they made the decision to postpone all ITU racing for the next 6 weeks to prioritise the health and safety of athletes, technical officials, volunteers and coaches relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This along with the recent recommendations made by the New Zealand Government mean there are now major impacts on international racing, including the Taranaki Triathlon Festival that includes the New Plymouth ITU World Cup, OTU Junior and Mixed Relay events and the Tri NZ Sprint Distance National Championships.
We expect to see further recommendations to be made by the New Zealand Government relating to the delivery of events and public gatherings in the next few days. We will provide this information when available. Tri NZ would like any event providers/clubs with upcoming events to please contact Mel Saltiel email@example.com to discuss next steps and any changes that may be required to respond to government recommendations.
Additionally, we have been working to ensure all our High Performance Athletes that have recently been competing at the Mooloolaba World Cup can quickly and safely return to New Zealand.
I understand that these changes are very disappointing but as always, want to ensure the health and safety of our whole community remains the priority.
If you have any further questions regarding these changes please don’t hesitate to contact the Tri NZ team.
Statement from the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup.
In light of tonight’s announcement from the International Triathlon Union (see release below), organisers of the New Plymouth ITU Triathlon World Cup race regret to announce that the event will not go ahead as planned on March 28/29 2020.
With the welfare of athletes, coaches, volunteers, spectators and all connected with ITU events top of mind in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ITU has made the decision to suspend all activities until April 30, including all competitions and therefore including the planned World Cup race in New Plymouth later this month. This decision has literally been made tonight and New Plymouth organisers are moving quickly to deliver the news to all stakeholders, sponsors, athletes, coaches and national associations to do our very best to minimize disruption and stress.
This effects all events planned at the ITU New Plymouth World Cup, including the Oceania Mixed Relay, Oceania Junior Championships, New Zealand Sprint Triathlon Championships and the Taranaki Tri-er. None of these events will be proceeding on the dates proposed.
Event Director Shanelle Barrett expressed disappointment in the news but stressed that the health and wellbeing of all involved must remain paramount in all decisions moving forward.
“We have not made any further decisions and indeed in this fast moving and unprecedented time of global crisis we do not have all the necessary information to make any further decisions. What is important right now is to convey quickly and calmly that the event will not proceed and allow everyone to make alternate travel plans and focus on global efforts to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
There will be no further comment at this time.
From World Triathlon
In the light of the rapid spread worldwide of COVD-19, the Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union has decided to suspend all activities until the 30th April. The measure includes the suspension of all the competitions in the World Triathlon calendar, courses, camps and other activities, and therefore all the World Ranking, Olympic Qualification Ranking, Paratriathlon Ranking and Paralympic Qualification Rankings will be immediately frozen, from Monday 16th of March 2020.
World Triathlon President and IOC member, Marisol Casado, said: “This is a decision that is hard to take, and you can have my word that we are taking it with the health and safety of athletes, coaches, officials, facilitators, staff, volunteers and spectators, all the triathlon family, as the top priority. We are taking this decision convinced that we all have to take our part to prevent and stop the spread of the virus. It is our responsibility, as a society. And having our athletes, coaches, officials and staff travelling around the world at this challenging time is not something that we in World Triathlon are willing to risk”.
All the events in the World Triathlon and Continental calendars will be immediately postponed until further notice. ITU strongly recommends all the affiliated National Federations to extend the measures as well in their territories, to avoid spreading the virus. All World Triathlon staff will be working from home during these weeks.
World Triathlon will continue working during this time to try to reallocate the events after the 30th 0f April when possible and will work with all stakeholders to undertake further actions if needed regarding the Olympic and Paralympic qualification rankings.
World Triathlon will continue evaluating the situation on a daily basis and will announce any further change in the situation as soon as possible to all stakeholders when this happens.
Please also checkout the Ministry of Heath guidelines regarding COVD-19