The World Athletics Championships could be moved from next year to 2022 to accommodate the rearranged Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.
Coe said today that his sport’s flagship Championships, due to take place in Oregon from August 6 to 15, could be moved from 2021 to give space to the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed for up to a year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nobody saw this problem (with the virus)…so the flexibility here is very important,” Coe told Japanese media in a teleconference.
Should the biennial Championships be postponed for a year, he said it would still be possible to “have a 2022 and 2023 Championships back to back,” although he added that was a matter of speculation at this point.
Speaking in a later teleconference with African and European media, Coe accepted that a delay of a year could mean more Russian athletes taking part in the next Olympics and Paralympics as their federation seeks to restore faith in its operation following the long-standing doping scandal.
“Nothing has been decided yet, but no International Federation is likely to be comfortable holding its World Championships in the same year as an Olympics.
“If we were to hold the next World Championships in 2022, a year after the Games, you would have the next ones in 2023, and then be in the Olympic Games in 2024.
“You would have athletics centre stage for four consecutive years…I think we could live with that, and that athletes could live with that.
“But it is still a matter for consideration.”