The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has announced that its Modern Pentathlon World Championships will take place in the Mexican city of Cancun this year, switching from Xiamen, China due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The UIPM has announced that the event will still take place over the same dates – May 25-31 – as originally scheduled.
Xiamen has accepted an offer from the UIPM to stage the event in 2022 instead, with next year’s championships having already been awarded to Minsk, Belarus. The Chinese city is also scheduled to host the UIPM’s Congress and annual awards in November this year, which is currently set to go ahead as planned, although the situation will be monitored over the course of the coming months.
The change will make the 2020 edition the second in three years to be held in Mexico, after the capital, Mexico City, hosted the 2018 edition.
UIPM president, Dr Klaus Schormann, said in a statement that it was important to find a venue for the competition “at sea level, matching the conditions [the athletes] will experience during the Olympics” later this year. The World Championships is the final qualification event for pentathletes to secure their places at the Tokyo Games.
Schormann thanked the authorities in Cancun for helping to provide a quick solution to the issue once it became apparent that it was no longer tenable to host the event in China.
He added: “The past few weeks have been a difficult time for all involved in international sport, and our movement is no exception. We are very sorry that the Coronavirus outbreak has caused so much disruption and left us with no choice but to move our flagship annual competition away from China.
“We are, however, delighted that the City Government of Xiamen has agreed to postpone what I am certain will be an exemplary UIPM Pentathlon World Championships until the year 2022.”