The United States of America Track and Field (USATF) has decided to pull out of next month’s World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Kenya.
“Due to a number of factors including timing, logistics and more importantly the health and well-being of our athletes and staff, the USATF will not send athletes for four upcoming major competitions this year,” USATF issued a statement on its social media page on Saturday.
The US is the first nation to pull out of the prestigious World U20 Athletics Championships, a flagship event of World Athletics.
According to a USATF statement, the national governing body in athletics in the USA will not send its team for the World U20 Athletics Championships scheduled to be held from August 17 to 22 in Nairobi.
The U.S. team finished a poor third with three golds, eight silvers and seven bronze medals.
Kenya topped the medal tally with six golds, four silver and one bronze.
Jamaica was second with four golds, five silver and three bronze medals.
India’s Hima Das won the gold medal in the women’s 400m race. It was the only medal India won in the competition.
The USATF has also pulled out of the NACAC U23 Championships in Costa Rica from July 9 to 11.
Thorpe Cup July 17 to 18 and Pan Am U20 Championships scheduled to be held in Iquique, Chile from October 22 to 24, are the other two events USATF has decided to withdraw due to pandemic.
The USATF’s decision to withdraw from the World U20 Championships in Kenya will deny opportunities to several upcoming athletes to compete in age group competitions as they wouldn’t be in the same age group next year.
“USATF will continue to monitor events and look forward to participation in a robust competition calendar in 2022,” said the USATF statement.
The USATF will play host to the World Athletics Championships in 2022.
Stong US team for Tokyo Olympics
Recently, the USATF announced a strong 130 contingent for the Tokyo Olympic Games starting July 23.
World record-holder Sydney McLaughlin in women’s 400m hurdles and shot putter Ryan Crouser is among the 130 athletes who will represent the USA at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Despite Japan’s central government declaring a state of emergency due to a pandemic during the Games, almost all the nations are competing except North Korea.
During the Olympic Games, spectators will not be allowed to witness the competitions. There are stricter COVID-19 protocols for visiting athletes and coaching staff.