‘Health and safety of competitors paramount’: Two Oceans cancelled again

04 February 2021 - 15:06 By David Isaacson
Athletes during the 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town. South African road runners are left with no means to generate income due to the lockdown.
Athletes during the 2019 Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town. South African road runners are left with no means to generate income due to the lockdown.
Image: ImageSA/Gallo Images

Two Oceans Marathon organisers announced on Thursday they had cancelled their 2021 race set for April 3 because of concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic‚ just as Athletics SA (ASA) reopened its season.

“ASA is now able to return to competition and will resume our athletics calendar from Saturday‚” acting CEO Terrence Magogodela said in a circular to members.

ASA controversially scrapped the national cross-country trials in Potchefstroom last month‚ just days before it was scheduled to be run.

Reactivating the schedule will allow track and field‚ cross-country and road running events to be staged‚ though it won’t affect the Two Oceans‚ which traditionally has to cater for far greater entry numbers.

The race is also without a title sponsor.

Two Oceans organisers said in a statement on their website that they had consulted with various stakeholders‚ including ASA and their own medical team‚ on the cancellation.

It’s the second year in a row the ultra-marathon on the Cape Peninsula has been cancelled.

Promising to unveil “alternative events and programmes”‚ they said they had taken the decision based on the advice of chief medical officer Dr Adrian Rotunno.

They had considered holding the race in different formats with reduced numbers‚ but in the end decided against it.

“The potential risk of a third wave in the coming months cannot be discounted‚” Dr Rotunno said in the statement.

“The health and safety of all competitors‚ stakeholders and the running community as a whole is paramount‚ and given the current pandemic climate‚ the health risks around hosting the [Two Oceans] mass participation event are far too significant for the event to proceed safely.

“Under guidance from global evidence-based practice‚ only hosting a full-scale physical event once the health situation has improved to acceptable levels for all is unfortunate‚ but necessary.”

Organisers said they would soon announce plans for alternative events and programmes‚ but didn’t expand on what they might be.


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