Coronavirus in Guyana casts shadow over June 4 AP Invitational

Pompey monitoring situation locally; keeping an ear out for IOC and Government announcements

By Rawle Toney

WITH the International Olympic Committee set to host an unscheduled Executive Board meeting via teleconferencing today to internally discuss the latest developments, as first reported by Reuters, Aliann Pompey, organiser of the AP Invitational, told Chronicle Sport that so far, all plans are still in place to host her June 4 event at the National Track and Field Centre.

While Reuters reported that no decision as it relates to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be made at today’s meeting, a number of Federations and event’s organisers, especially those like the AP Invitational, that offers a gateway for athletes seeking qualification, will be tuned in.

Speaking exclusively with Chronicle Sport yesterday Pompey the go-ahead of her event will be heavily depending on if the IOC will host the Olympic Games as planned, but, the four-time Olympian who also serves as the president of the PanAm Sports Athlete Commission, stressed that she’s “monitoring the situation with Coronavirus in Guyana and also want to protect the health of my fellow citizens and adhere to all travel and health concerns.”

Concerns regarding the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus has led the postponement of April 4 Grenada Invitational, one of the Caribbean’s marquee events, and since then, several other championships were either suspended, or cancelled as the virus hit almost every country in the region.

“The Olympics are still on as schedule as of now and the athletes are still don’t have a lot of opportunity to compete, so I have gotten a lot of interest in the meet over the last few days because it looks like it’s going to be one of the last ones standing. Of course, all that being said we will have to keep our eyes on what the international recommendations are going to be as time goes by,” Pompey said in a recent interview.

This year’s AP Invitational will be part of the recently structured World Athletics 2020 Continental Tour. 

The Continental Tour will be divided into three levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – whose status will be determined by the quality of competition and prize money on offer.

 World Athletics is investing in the Gold level meetings, which will each offer US$200 000 in prize money, to increase the number of high-quality competitive opportunities available to showcase our sport’s best athletes.

Area associations will be responsible for managing the Silver (US$75 000 prize money) and Bronze level competitions (US$25 000). There will be ten Silver and up to 50 Bronze meetings.

Those disciplines that are not included in this year’s Wanda Diamond League final – 200m, 3000m steeplechase, triple jump, discus – will be core events in the Continental Tour Gold meetings, as will the hammer throw. Each will have guaranteed prize money of US$20 000 at each meeting.

Performances in those events will attract the same level of world ranking points as the core Diamond League disciplines, and the overall tour winners will receive wildcard entry to the World Athletics Championships Oregon 2021.

Pompey, a four-time Olympian, will hold the Invitational for the fifth time this year, with the inaugural meet hosting 11 athletes who went on to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.

The 2020 Continental Tour will span across six continents and offers athletes the opportunity to receive world-ranking points that will count toward the 2020 Olympic Games and World Championships.


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