World Series opener in Abu Dhabi postponed due to coronavirus


(Reuters) – The opening round of the 2020 World Triathlon Series scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi has been postponed as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) said on Saturday.

The event was due to take place on Yas Island from March 5-7, but organizers confirmed they will look to find a new date later in March or April.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has seen eight countries reporting their first cases and the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised its global spread and impact risk alert to “very high”.

“Travel restrictions and quarantines imposed by some countries and airlines for individuals and groups traveling from or to areas affected by the outbreak make it impossible to go ahead with the event in the planned dates,” the ITU said in a statement here

“But all stakeholders are working tirelessly against the clock to find a new date to host the event.”

The final two stages of cycling’s UAE Tour were called off on Thursday after two Italian riders tested positive for coronavirus.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond