The world indoor track championships in China were postponed for a third time Thursday, pushing the event first scheduled for 2020 back to 2025.
World Athletics cited “ongoing pandemic conditions” in China for postponing the March 2023 world indoors in Nanjing by two years.
China is pursuing a strict “zero COVID” policy that also saw its hosting of soccer’s 2023 Asian Cup cancelled in May.
Since the COVID-19 coronavirus spread from Wuhan in late-2019, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing has been the only significant international sports event held in China. It was held under strict lockdown conditions with no fans at most events.
Nanjing was scheduled to host the world indoors in March 2020, then 2021, 2023 and now 2025.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said the early decision was “to give certainty to athletes and member federations preparing for the 2023 competition season.”
“Unfortunately, the time frame will prevent us from relocating the 2023 event,” Coe said, “but the indoor championships will return in 2024 in Glasgow.”