Meetings to feature chlorinated water jumps, sanitized sand pits


BERN (Reuters) – Athletics meeting organizers have been advised to put chlorine in the water jump, clean relay batons between each use and add a solution containing a virucide agent to sand pits as part of hygiene guidelines for events during the coronavirus pandemic.

The sport’s governing body, World Athletics, has issued 22 pages of guidelines which it said in a statement here on Thursday were “based on scientific and medical knowledge of the virus responsible for Covid-19.”

After a wave of postponements, World Athletics is hoping that a shortened season can take place between August and October including a number of elite Diamond League meetings.

The recommendations for organizers include the use of face masks by all officials, media and athletes in the stadium, except when they are warming up or competing.

It also suggested the organizers provide participants with a welcome bag that includes at least three single-use masks, bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

During competition, officials who come into close contact with athletes should wear protective glasses or a plastic face shield, in addition to a mask, the guidelines say.

For track events, starting blocks should be cleaned between each race, chlorine added to the water jump for the steeplechase and relay batons cleaned “between each use”.

For the high jump and pole vaults, the use of hand sanitizers is recommended between each attempt.

Officials should clean the landing mat between each jump using a mop and virucidal solution, or use a thin layer of recyclable plastic that can be placed on the mat.

The sand in the long and triple jump pits should be “mixed with a solution that contains biodegradable and non-skin-aggressive virucide agent”, it added.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris