The World Para Swimming World Series event in Lignano, Italy, which was scheduled to take place this week (27 February-1 March), has been cancelled.
The decision by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Italian Para Swimming Federation (FINP) to cancel the event follows guidance by the President of Friuli Venezia Giulia Region following 76 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy and a further 64 cases under investigation.
Christian Holtz, Managing Director of World Para Sports, said: “We regret that this key event in the build-up to Tokyo 2020 has been cancelled but the health and well-being of our athletes is our top priority at all times.
“Northern Italy has seen an increase in coronavirus cases in recent days and, in an effort to stop this number rising further, several sport events, including Serie A football fixtures, have been cancelled or postponed. Upon guidance from the local region, both the LOC and Italian Para Swimming Federation have decided to cancel the event.
“As this event was also going to provide athlete classification opportunities World Para Swimming will look into what solution can be provided in the long-term by athletes impacted by this cancellation.”
Around 900 athletes, coaches and officials from 42 countries were set to be involved in the event.
The next World Para Swimming World Series event will be hosted in Sao Paulo, Brazil, between 25-28 March 2020.