Covid-19 outbreak: No archery events till end of June

New Delhi: World Archery on Thursday extended the suspension of international competitions until the end of June after Tokyo Olympics were postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The suspension, originally announced to last until April 30, was introduced in mid-March because of the rapidly worsening worldwide health crisis caused by the coronavirus. The competition hiatus had affected seven of archery’s Olympic quota events and World Archery said the qualification procedures would be reassessed when new principles are released and the calendar for the rest of this year is confirmed.

“Following the recent postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and with wide-ranging restrictions on travel and events still in force, the decision was made to provide immediate clarity on upcoming tournaments,” the world body said after its executive committee meeting.

It said a strategy for rescheduling this year’s competitions has also been approved. It, however, said the events will be rescheduled only after the situation improves.

“World Archery intends to hold as many international events as possible during the remainder of this outdoor season so that athletes have an opportunity to compete on the world stage, and the federation can fulfil its obligations to broadcasters and partners,” it said.

“The new dates of any event will be announced no later than two months in advance, giving teams and athletes an adequate and equal period to prepare, and organisers a shortened but clear registration timeline,” the world body said, while also supporting the International Olympic Committee’s move to postpone the Tokyo Games.

World Archery said registration for all international events has been closed and its staff will now work with the organisers of the tournaments that have been affected and potential future hosts to generate multiple options for a replacement calendar.

“This will ensure that there is no delay in recommencing international competition as soon as the current public health crisis improves. There will also be a delay in announcing the calendar for the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series and beyond,” the world body added.

Events affected include

Hyundai Archery World Cup stage 2 in Antalya, Turkey (May 11-17)

European Archery Championships in Antalya, Turkey (May 20-26)

World ranking event in Medellin, Colombia (June 1-7)

Asia Cup leg 2 in Gwangju, Korea (June 7-12)

European Grand Prix in Porec, Croatia (June 9-13)

Para world ranking event at Nove Mesto, Czech Republic (June 15-21)

Hyundai Archery World Cup stage 3 in Berlin, Germany (June 21-28).