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COVID and Cool Temperatures Will Keep USA From World Athletics Relays

After topping the medal count in each of the last four meetings of the World Athletics Relays, the United States will not send a team to this year’s meet. When World Athletics announced the lineup, the US was not one of the 37 teams announced to compete in Chorzow, Poland on May 1-2.

The United States won five of the nine events at the 2019 meet held in Yokohama, Japan but are hesitant to send a team to Poland just a mere two months after over 30 athletes tested positive for COVID following the European Indoor Championships held in Torun in March. The cooler temperature is also a factor so close to the US Olympic Trials. The average high in April is a brisk 61 degrees in Chorzow. Here is the official statement released by USATF.

Athlete safety is our top priority. The decision was based on the information that Covid cases throughout Poland have spiked significantly, the nation’s hospital and health care systems are reported to be in crisis, another 2-week lockdown was recently instituted, and U.S. State Department and Center for Disease Control travel advisory levels are now at four (4) and three (3) for travel to Poland.

The top eight finishers in the men’s and women’s 4×100 and 4×400 and the mixed-gender 4×400 relays will automatically qualify for the Summer Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo.

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