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World Cross Country Championships postponed (again)

The race has been rescheduled for February 2023

world cross-country championships

World Athletics announced Wednesday morning that the World Cross Country Championships are postponed until February 18, 2023. The race was supposed to be held in Bathurst, Australia on February 19, 2022, after it was postponed for the first time from 2021, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country, local organizers and World Athletics have made the decision to push the race back another year.

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“Athletics Australia and the LOC (local organizing committee) are delighted that World Athletics and its partners have agreed to the postponement, which allows us to plan and deliver a world-class celebration of cross country running in February 2023,” said LOC Co-Chair and Athletics Australia Board Member Jill Davies in a statement. “This is one of the most exciting athletics events in the world and the iconic course at Mount Panorama will see some incredible racing.”

Australian borders continue to be closed to international visitors in an effort to contain the country’s COVID-19 numbers, and the primary reasons cited for the postponement are “the health and safety of the entire running community and the host region.” According to a press release by World Athletics, while there are international events scheduled in Australia in early 2022, the current 14-day quarantine required for all visitors to the country is not practical for a one-day event. This latest postponement means that by the time the race in Bathurst takes place, it will have been four years since the most recent World Championships, which took place in Aarhus, Denmark in 2019.

Ben Preisner races at the 2019 World Cross-Country Championships in Denmark.

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“We’re looking forward to hosting the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in 2023,” said Mayor Ian North of Bathurst Regional Council. “Mount Panorama is a world-famous international racing track venue, attracting competitors from across the globe and is the perfect backdrop for the most important cross-country event in the world.”