The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has postponed the World For Swimming and World For Powerlifting Championships which were due to begin in Mexico City on 30 September following Tuesday’s (19 September) devastating earthquake in the country. The decision was taken following an assessment of the current situation and after close liaison with the Local Organizing Committee and the City of Mexico government.
Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude quake has left hundreds dead and caused major damage to buildings and infrastructure in Mexico City and the surrounding area. Although the two venues that were host to the Championships – the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool and the adjacent Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium – appear to have sustained only minor damage, the full structural assessment needs to be conducted. In addition, some of the hotels have been badly damaged.
Around 1,400 athletes, officials and staff were due to be in Mexico City for the 2017 For Sport Festival which was to feature both the World For Swimming and World For Powerlifting Championships between 30 September and 6 October. A small number of team delegations had already arrived in the city for training camps ahead of the event and all have been indicated they are safe following Tuesday’s earthquake.
Andrew Parsons , IPC President, said: “Following the terrible earthquake our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the people of Mexico at this time. The tragic loss of life and devastation caused is heart breaking and our deepest sympathies are with all those involved.
“As a result of this tragedy, we are in full agreement that the immediate focus of the Mexican authorities should be on prioritising recovery and rebuilding for the Mexican people and not organizing two major international sport events. Therefore, we have agreed with the Local Organizing Committee and City of Mexico government to postpone the upcoming World Championships in Swimming and For powerliftinguntil further notice.
“I know the postponement of both Championships will be disappointing news to all athletes who were set to take part, however these are unique circumstances and quite simply this is the right thing to do at the moment.
“Our immediate priority now is to work with the team delegations currently in Mexico City to ensure their safe departure. We will then assess whether we can reorganize these Championships in the near future in Mexico City or seek alternatives. ”
This is the first time the IPC has postponed to major Championships in its history.
By IPC Media