First two Indian GP's to be held behind closed doors due to COVID-19

The first two contests of the Indian Grand Prix series will be held behind closes doors owing to the coronavirus threat, the AFI announced on Monday.

AFI

“IGP-1 will be held on 20th March 2020 and IGP-2 will be held on 25th March 2020 as per schedule. The venue of both the competitions will be SAI NS-NIS Patiala,” the AFI said in a release on Monday. [Representative image]   -  Getty Images

With the coronavirus crisis forcing the cancellation or postponement of many events, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has decided to make a few changes to its three-leg Indian Grand Prix series which begins on March 20.

The first leg will be held in Patiala as scheduled on March 20 but the second leg, on March 25, has been shifted from Sangrur to Patiala. Both the legs will be held at the SAI-NIS in Patiala. The AFI will take a call on the third leg, scheduled to be held in New Delhi on March 29, later.

RELATED|  Indian Grand Prix and coronavirus threat: AFI turns to coaches, experts for advice

“We don't want our campers to travel some two hours to go to Sangrur from Patiala. In fact, we don't want our campers to go out of the national camp,” said an AFI official on Monday evening.

“Regarding the third leg, we will study the situation in Delhi and take a decision but it will surely happen.”

RELATED| Coronavirus: Fed Cup to go ahead, AFI withdraws invites to foreign athletes

The AFI's competition committee, which recommended these changes, has also revised the events' list for the first and second legs. The men's 100m, 110 hurdles, high jump have been dropped from the first leg while the men's and women's discus throw has been pulled out from the second.

The Federation has also made it clear that spectators will not be allowed into the competition venue. Personal coaches, support staff, friends and family members of athletes who are not part of the national camp will also not be allowed. And non-campers will be permitted inside only after a medical check-up by the AFI or SAI medical team at the entry gate. Athletes have also been asked to leave the venue after completion of their events.

List of events:

Indian GP-1 (in Patiala): Men: 200m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin throw. Women: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, long jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin throw.

Indian GP-2 (in Patiala): Men: 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin throw. Women: 100m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, long jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin throw.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.