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Fears over COVID-19 forces postponement of 2020 Grenada Invitational

Concerns regarding the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus has led to the postponement of the 2020 Grenada Invitational, organisers have said in a statement this week.

In recent weeks, the Coronavirus has spread to 111 countries and has infected more than 100,000 people across the globe, killing more than 3,000 of them.

It is against this background that the Local Organising Committee of the relays has taken what they have described as a difficult decision.

“After extensive deliberations with local public health officials, our broadcast partners, sponsors and athletes representatives, it was determined that the paramount importance of the health of our citizens and the expected influx of travellers (athletes, etc) warranted us to err on the side of caution,” organisers said in a statement.

“As such, in light of the fluidity and uncertainty related to (COVID-19), it has become necessary to postpone the 4th annual Grenada Invitational that was scheduled for April 4th, 2020.

“ The improbability and flexibility of the situation changes from day to day and these uncertainties are sure to hinder in the delivery of a World Class event.”

Some of the world’s best track and field athletes were down to compete at the Grenada Invitational as they gear up for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan that is also under threat because of the spread of the virus that has seen thousands of Japanese citizens being infected.

Schools in that country have been ordered closed and public gatherings have been banned until the end of April when the International Olympic Committee is expected to make a final decision on whether the Games will be held.

Similarly, the organisers of the Grenada Invitational said they will decide if and when the meet will be held this year.

“Grenada Invitational will, as the rest of the sporting world, monitor the global conditions and along with track and field’s governing body, World Athletics and our broadcast partner, a new date for the meet will be announced once the (COVID-19) is no longer a threat and normalcy in travel and other routine activities is returned,” the statement said.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 double Olympic champion, 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake, and Olympic and World Champion Kirani James were to be among the headliners at the meet this year as the organisers had begun to assemble a world-class field of athletes for the meet.

Also confirmed were the likes of Briana Williams, Kendra Harrison, Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin, and Tajay Gayle.