Thursday, 14 May 2020 16:57

Photo Credit:Comrades Marathon.

Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) Board and KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA), Athletics South Africa has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Comrades Marathon.

ASA President Aleck Skhosana said: “Cancelling what would have been the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon was a long and arduous decision to make.

"With the race’s rich history, its powerful nation-building attributes and contribution towards social cohesion, as well as its immense economic impact, it would have been premature to rush into an outright cancellation sooner."

"However, we believe we have jointly arrived at the correct decision to protect the health and safety of all concerned as well as the lives of our fellow South Africans."

CMA Chairperson Cheryl Winn also explained that: "It is with profound sadness and regret that the CMA Board, in conjunction with ASA and KZNA, had to make this decision."

"We do so with the knowledge that it will come as a great disappointment to thousands of Comrades runners, who together with us at CMA, have been holding out hope that the race would somehow proceed."

We had hoped to postpone The Ultimate Human Race to a date not later than end of September (owing to climatic conditions), but alas with the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating and anticipated to peak in the coming months, there is no telling what is yet to come.

"As CMA, it is incumbent upon us to prioritise the health, safety and well-being of our athletes, volunteers and stakeholders and therefore lamentably we will not be staging this year’s edition of the country’s leading road running event."

Jay Reddy, KZN Athletics Administrator, added: In this difficult time which has seen the historic cancellation of one of KZNA’s flagship events, let us not succumb to despair, disappointment, and acceptance that we are victims of this pandemic.

Read the Full Statement Here:https://www.comrades.com/index.php/comrades-news/139-the-2020-comrades-marathon-has-been-cancelled.

Meanwhile the Select Committee on Education, Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture has welcomed the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Comrades Marathon, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Committee Chairperson, Elleck Nchabeleng, said given the latest figures of positive cases in the country, and that KwaZulu-Natal is among the four provinces recording the highest positive cases, the right decision was taken.

 “The committee welcomes the cancellation and believes it is in the interest of participants at heart. Any possible interventions and steps should be taken to ensure that the virus spread is contained. The urge to continue with the season among many sporting codes is understandable, but that should not be at the expense of the athletes," Nchabeleng said.

The Comrades Marathon is run annually in June in KwaZulu-Natal. The race had initially been postponed to September due to the lockdown. However the race has since been cancelled.