USA Gymnastics calls off 2020 national championships

Washington (AFP) –


USA Gymnastics will not stage its national championships and other major events in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the national sport governing body announced Tuesday.

The US Gymnastics Championships, which had been planned for June 4-7 at Fort Worth, Texas, will be staged in the same city on June 3-6, 2021.

Reigning world and Olympic champion Simone Biles would have been favored next month to capture her seventh national all-around crown in eight seasons, missing out only in 2017 when she took a year off after the Rio Olympics.

But with the deadly virus outbreak forcing postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from July to 2021 and stay-in-place regulations in many areas, USA Gymnastics decided to cancel 2020 events after consulting with athletes and medical officials.

"In light of recent guidance from health experts, and after receiving feedback from our athletes and coaches, we believe it is in the best interest of our community to wait until 2021 to hold premier events," USA Gymnastics chief executive officer Li Li Leung said.

USA Gymnastics said it remains in the process of rescheduling other events ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, including the US Olympic trials and the USA Gymnastics Championships for rhythmic and trampoline, with plans to announce those dates "in the coming weeks."

USA Gymnastics will stage its 2020 national congress and tradeshow as a virtual event.

Also postponed was the US Classic meet at Hartford, Connecticut, which was planned for May 23, 2020, but will instead be contested May 22, 2021 in the same city.