UIPM postpones 2020 Congress and cancels 2020 Youth World Championships (U19/U17)
- 71st UIPM Congress to take place in 2021; discussions ongoing with host city Xiamen (CHN)
- UIPM 2021 Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) moved forward to March
- UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19/U17) also fast-tracked
The Executive Board of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has agreed further changes to the 2020/21 events and competitions calendar as a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
The 71st UIPM Congress, originally scheduled to take place in November 2020 in Xiamen (CHN), has been postponed to 2021, while the UIPM 2020 Youth World Championships in Hurghada (EGY) has been cancelled.
However, changes have been made to the scheduling of the 2021 season to add relevance to training and provide more imminent competitive incentives for developing athletes.
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “It is a source of great regret that we must continue to cancel or postpone different parts of the UIPM 2020 calendar, but we do so with the full cooperation of the local organisers.
“The whole world, not only in sport, is making sacrifices to protect people from this virus and working to ensure that we can all return to leading a full life in a safe way as soon as possible.
“At UIPM we are committed to this principle and I can promise our global community that we are doing everything possible to reunite them in 2021 to take part in worldwide competitions and UIPM Congress.
“Until then I ask all participants in our movement to play a part in combating the spread of this virus by abiding by the advice of their Government and medical experts when undertaking training and normal daily activities.”
Due to the continuing restrictions on travel and large gatherings imposed to combat the pandemic, it was deemed unsafe to continue with plans for a UIPM Congress in 2020 in Xiamen (CHN).
The 71st UIPM Congress will now take place in 2021, most likely in November following the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics (July 23 to August 8, 2021).
Discussions around the hosting of the rescheduled Congress will continue with local organisers in Xiamen (CHN), which is also due to host the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships following the cancellation of the 2020 competition.
The postponement of Congress was confirmed when the UIPM Executive Board (EB) agreed that it constituted a case of force-majeure, and National Federations were informed on July 8.
Article 13.2 of the UIPM Statutes empowers the EB to take decisions on cases of force-majeure to ensure a smooth and continuous governance system that would prevent UIPM from finding itself with an uncertain leadership structure.
The UIPM EB has agreed to cancel the UIPM 2020 Youth World Championships (U19/U17), originally scheduled to take place in Hurghada (EGY) from October 4-10.
This decision had been delayed as long as possible in the hope that the competition in late 2020 might be feasible, but the EB has been left with no alternative to cancellation as global travel is still too limited to guarantee an appropriate representation for the world’s largest gathering of teenage pentathletes.
The news follows the postponement of the UIPM 2020 Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Drzonkow (POL) and the EB acknowledges the deeply regrettable lack of opportunities for young pentathletes across the world to compete globally in 2020.
The EB is also acutely aware of the disappointment felt by youth athletes after the joint decision of Dakar 2022 and the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 4th Youth Olympic Summer Games Dakar 2022 until 2026.
The EB has therefore agreed to fast-track two competitions in the 2021 season to add relevance to training for developing athletes and give them more imminent competitive incentives.
The UIPM 2021 Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Alexandria (EGY) will now take place in March 2021, having originally been scheduled for later in the year.
The EB has also fast-tracked the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19/U17) to February or March in Egypt. Discussions are ongoing with organisers about the possibility of hosting the Junior and Youth World Championships back-to-back to reduce travel for athletes competing in both competitions.
In fast-tracking the arrangement of these two competitions, the EB reserves the right to postpone either or both depending on the Coronavirus situation worldwide.
UIPM EB Member for Development, Dr Viacheslav Malishev, said: “It is a terrible blow for our developing athletes to have no global competitions in 2020, but I would ask everybody to be patient and work together to defeat this virus.
“I hope the decision to fast-track the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships and UIPM 2021 Junior World Championships will provide a competitive goal early in 2021 for all athletes in the U21, U19 and U17 age groups.
“In the meantime I urge all of our development athletes to remain committed to training for all five disciplines of the Pentathlon wherever it is possible to do so, and continue to stay fit and healthy until the opportunity to compete returns.”