The 2020 edition of the annual CARIFTA Track and Field Championships has been postponed due to the threat of the COVID-19 virus.
The decision was announced in a press release from the president of the North American, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), Mike Sands, yesterday morning.
The meet was scheduled to get underway in Hamilton, Bermuda, April 10-13, 2020.
According to the release, the executive board of NACAC and the Bermuda National Athletics Association (BNAA) mutually agreed to postpone one of the highly-anticipated track and field events on the calendar.
“This decision was not taken lightly but in the best interest of all stakeholders against the backdrop of the rapidly evolving situation with regard to the COVID-19 across the globe and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a global pandemic, which has led several countries, regardless of size, political ideology or wealth, to close their borders, cease travel and stop mass gatherings,” Sands said in the statement.
Sands also said that the Bermudian government will be taking a series of measurements to protect its citizens from the virus.
Last year, Jamaica continued their dominance, winning the meet with 86 medals. Team Bahamas was second. They finished with 26 medals – nine gold, seven silvers and 10 bronze.
Team Bahamas did not name the team as yet, but was set to do so after the CARIFTA Trials were slated for March 27-28 at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium. Those trials will be set to take place at a closer date after a new date for CARIFTA has been set.
As for a new date for CARIFTA, the release stated that both NACAC and BNAA will be monitoring the situation.
“Your NACAC executive board, in collaboration with the Bermuda National Athletics Association, will continue to monitor all future developments with the view of the Bermuda 2020 CARIFTA Games being placed back on the calendar at the earliest possible date shortly after an all clear is given to resume normalcy,” Sands said.
Participating countries were urged to maintain their athletes’ fitness level. They were also welcomed to make suggestions for a different date.
Sands encouraged members to continue following the advisories from their respective health and governmental agencies.
This announcement came on the heels of the Bahamas Aquatics Federation (BAF) withdrawing their participation from the 2020 CARIFTA Swimming Championships set for April 11-14 in Wildey, Barbados. The BAF also announced their withdrawal from the water polo portion of the games that were set for April 7-9 at that same location.
The Bahamas won the swimming aspect of the meet last year. In addition, the under-16 boys water polo team won the gold medal last year.
The swimming team won with 73 total medals – 35 gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze. The three water polo teams won three medals – one gold, silver and bronze medal each.
It is expected that the Barbados Amateur Swimming Association will also announce the official status of the CARIFTA Aquatics Championships.