Short track worlds in Seoul canceled due to coronavirus

April 17, 2020

 The world championships in short track speed skating, scheduled to take place in Seoul this year, have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Skating Union (ISU) announced the decision in a statement following an online ISU Council meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday (local time).

In this Associated Press file photo from Feb. 8, 2020, Choi Min-jeong of South Korea celebrates after winning the women's 1,500-meter final at the International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden, Germany. (Yonhap)
In this Associated Press file photo from Feb. 8, 2020, Park Ji-won of South Korea (L) competes in the men's 1,000-meter final at the International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden, Germany. (Yonhap)

In this Associated Press file photo from Feb. 8, 2020, Choi Min-jeong of South Korea celebrates after winning the women’s 1,500-meter final at the International Skating Union (ISU) Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden, Germany. (Yonhap)

The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships were to take place March 13-15 in the South Korean capital, but on Feb. 26, the event was postponed indefinitely. Then on March 2, the ISU said it will seek to reschedule the event toward the end of the year and not before mid-October.

And yet even a seven-month postponement was deemed “not possible” by the ISU this time, as it cited logistical challenges brought on by “the escalating negative COVID-19 developments.”

The short track worlds first took place in 1976, and this marks the annual event’s first cancellation.

The ISU also wiped out the World Figure Skating Championships, set for March 16-22 in Montreal, and the World Synchronized Skating Championships, which would have been held in Lake Placid, New York, from April 3-5.

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