The 2022 dilemma; Worlds or Commonwealth Games?


Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi in the mile at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in ...
Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi in the mile at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (PHOTO/IAAF/Victah Sailer)

In Summary

  • The postponement of Olympic Games to the summer of 2021, meant that the World Athletics Championships that were set for next year in Oregon were subsequently moved to 2022, the same year the Commonwealth Games will be held.
  • With the global events being held back to back, athletes are set to be thrown in a dilemma when the two events draw closer.
  • AK are currently engaging with their technical team and are considering several options including selecting two separate teams for the events.

With the 2020 athletics calendar, both local and global already ravaged thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the effects of the same seem to extend far beyond this year.

The postponement of Olympic Games to the summer of 2021, meant that the World Athletics Championships that were set for next year in Oregon were subsequently moved to 2022, the same year the Commonwealth Games will be held.

The World Championships will thus be staged between July 15-24 in Oregon, USA with the Commonwealth Games set for July 27-August 7 in Birmingham, England.

With the global events being held back to back, athletes are set to be thrown in a dilemma when the two events draw closer.

Although the World Championship may be the most lucrative of the two, Commonwealth Games which takes place every four years is as well prestigious as it draws 71 teams across the globe.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei has revealed that they are now weighing up options as ahead of unique situation.

According to Tuwei, AK are currently engaging with their technical team and are considering several options including selecting two separate teams for the events.

“The biggest challenge is that the two events will be held back to back and that makes the basis of our discussions whether we will have to select two separate teams or let the athletes compete in both events. Also, it is worth noting that the weather may be another factor since the Worlds will be held in America while the Commonwealth Games will take place in Europe,” Tuwei said in an interview with Royal Media’s Chamgei FM.

Newly elected national Olympic committe -Kenya (NOCK) president Paul Tergat (L) is congratulated by his Athletics Kenya counterpart Paul Tuwei after being declared winner during National Olympic Committee (NOCK) election held at Panari hotel in Nairobi Kenya on September 28, 2017. Photo/Sportpicha.

At the same time, Tuwei urged athletes to brace for a tougher future ahead since the impact of coronavirus in the sport may last longer as expected.

“It will take some time, maybe until 2024 for the system and events to return to normalcy. I therefore urge athletes to be prepared for some changes that may affect them. We will however engage with them in order to find the best way to deal with each situation as it comes,” he said.

Don’t even try it

With all competitions currently suspended and athletes training individually, Tuwei has warned against taking advantage of the current situation to use prohibited drugs.

“Nobody should fool themselves and think of using this period to cheat. Remember athletes are subjected to in and out-of-competitions doping tests. Also, the Cabinet Secretary of Sports made it very clear that athletes will be tested at any given time,” noted Tuwei.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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