Coronavirus outbreak: Indian GP to be held behind closed doors

Updated: Mar 17, 2020, 09:13 IST | PTI | New Delhi

In India, the shooting World Cup and Indian Open Golf was postponed, while badminton's India Open was also deferred after Badminton World Federation (BWF) suspended all World Tour and sanctioned events

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

The first two competitions of the Indian Grand Prix (IGP) series will be held without any spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Competition Committee of Athletics Federation of India (AFI) said on Monday. The second competition of the Indian Grand Prix series was scheduled to be held at Sangrur but it will now be held at NIS Patiala. "IGP-1 will be held on 20th March 2020 and IGP-2 will be held on 25th March 2020 as per schedule. The venue of both the competition will be SAI NS-NIS Patiala," AFI said in a release. "Spectators will not be allowed inside the competition venue." The government had last week imposed travel restrictions to control the spread of the virus, while the sports ministry urged all national federations to avoid large gatherings in sports events. Given the health hazard, the AFI made it clear that "personal coaches, support staff or family members/friends of athletes who are not part of the National Coaching Camp will not be allowed inside the competition venue".

The AFI also said that all the athletes coming from outside will be allowed to enter the NS-NIS campus only after a medical check-up by AFI/SAI medical team at the SAI NS-NIS gate. The governing body also said that "all the athletes will be provided with an accreditation card" and they have to "leave the venue soon after completion of their event without waiting to witness other events". As part of its many precautionary measures, the AFI also decided to strictly restrict the movement of competitors from NS-NIS entry gate to the athletics track and back. "Those who are not part of the National Coaching Camps are not allowed to go to the residential hostels/guesthouses," it said. The AFI Competition Committee also revised the events list for both the first and second competitions. The events in the first competition are as follows: Men's- 200m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put & Javelin Throw; Women's- 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Javelin Throw.

The events in the second competition are: Men's - 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put & Javelin Throw; Women's- 100m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Javelin Throw. The AFI had earlier sought the views of its national coaches and foreign experts regarding the conduct of the Indian Grand Prix (IGP) series competitions. The death toll following the global novel coronavirus outbreak has crossed 6000 and over 1,60,000 have been infected globally. More than 100 people have so far tested positive in India apart from two deaths. The disease has led to either cancellation or postponement of all sports events the world over in the Olympic year. In India, the shooting World Cup and Indian Open Golf was postponed, while badminton's India Open was also deferred after Badminton World Federation (BWF) suspended all World Tour and sanctioned events.

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