What is probably one of the most anticipated events on the calendars of local athletes and those in the wider Caribbean region will now hang in the balance as Aliann Pompey considers the suspension and rescheduling of her namesake track and field meet.
It was recently announced that the decision to suspend the fifth edition of the invitational was taken pending announcement of the new date for the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
This year’s AP Invitation was originally scheduled for June 6 at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
Bearing in mind that the API was recently added to the World Athletics Continental Tour back in February of this year, added consideration was given to have the perfect scheduling of the event, since it is a gateway to the Olympics for many hopeful athletes.
“Given the fact that this year’s API forms part of the World Athletics Continental Tour for the calendar year, and is a major part of the preparation for athletes looking to qualify for Tokyo 2020, we want to ensure that the event offers athletes from around the world the best possible way, without hindrance; a chance to make their Olympic dream true,” a statement from Pompey read.
As the situation was further explained, this publication understood that the Invitational may come far after its usual timing, or until the following year, based on whether or not the IOC makes the decision to host the Olympic Games before or during the summer of 2021.
“The IOC announced the postponement of the Games to take place no later than a year from the scheduled date, and, as such, API wants to leave the door open to the possibility of having the meet, should the Games be held sometime sooner than next summer.”
The statement further revealed that the necessary stakeholders will be consulted in order to arrive at the perfect date. In the meantime, the API plans to stick strictly to the advice on battling the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving its June 6 host date in the dust.
“Nonetheless, API will follow the lead of World Athletics, CONSUDATLE, National Sports Commissions (NSC), and the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) to adhere to the requirements and recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as regional and local health officials; joining the rest of the sporting world battling the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic.”