Para-athletes' 'most important' Paralympic qualifying events postponed

Hannah Cockroft has said they are the 'most important' qualification events for para-athletes to reach Tokyo this summer (PA Images)
Hannah Cockroft has said they are the 'most important' qualification events for para-athletes to reach Tokyo this summer (PA Images)
16:29pm, Wed 18 Mar 2020
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World Para Athletics have postponed the 'most important' Paralympic qualification events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dubai, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Nottwil Grand Prix's are among the eight qualification events that have been cancelled.

The WPA released a statement saying: "World Para Athletics regrets the cancellation of the events but fully supports the decisions taken by Local Organising Committees (LOCs) to place as number one priority the health and well-being of all those involved.

" World Para Athletics is in constant communication with LOCs of the remaining events scheduled for the season, as well with the LOCs of the cancelled and postponed events. We are fully aware that the cancellation or postponement of events is having an impact on classification and qualification opportunities for Para athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. 

"World Para Athletics is working with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and LOCs to address these issues and seek potential solutions. In order to keep Para athletes, National Paralympic Committees and other stakeholders informed of the latest situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the IPC has published a weekly update including important information and recommendation."

Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft responded to the postponements, saying: "Our most important qualifying race cancelled... We saw it coming but it doesn’t make motivation to keep working hard any easier to find... just got to dig deep and carry on anyway we can!"

The rescheduled dates for the events have not yet been confirmed.

Full list of cancelled events: Dubai Grand Pix, Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Arizona Grand Prix, Beijing Grand Prix, London Marathon World Cup, Paris Grand Prix, Jesolo Grand Prix and the Nottwil Grand Prix.

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