German athletics body defends necessity of coronavirus championships

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THE German athletics federation (DLV) has defended itself from athletes’ criticism after unveiling plans for a limited national championship in August behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Together we wished for a normal German championships with all disciplines in a full stadium and regret the situation.

“But an exemption requires us to follow the current regulations on infection control measures,” said DLV director general Idriss Gonschinska on Sunday.

The event in Braunschweig on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9 will take place without fans and following a strict hygiene concept.

Races from 1500 metres up are not being contested.

“I’m speechless,” said two-time European steeplechase champion Gesa Krause on social media.

“Corona is and was a big topic. But you play football with 22 athletes on the pitch at full speed, and at a championship with eight to 12 runners that’s not possible?!”

Gonschinska said that a pandemic never seen before was being dealt with and the goal was “to get a German championships on its feet at all” during the health crisis.

Should restrictions be eased further to make running middle and long distance races, the chance would be taken, said Gonschinska.

Frank Lebert, chief of the DLV’s marketing company, added that if the ISTAF meeting in Berlin goes ahead in September, championship races could be held then.

“There our athletes will have the opportunity to fight for the German championship in a worthy setting and international environment,” he said.

NAN

– June 8, 2020 @ 08:40 GMT |

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