Events for Masters athletes in 2021 face challenges

At the virtual General Assembly of the International Masters Games Association (IMGA) yesterday it was announced that the World Masters Games 2021 in Kansai, Japan, which includes the World Masters Orienteering Championships 2021, would be postponed until May 13 – 29, 2022.

In other masters news, the World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships, scheduled to be held in Finland in March 2021, have been cancelled alltogether. This was due to concerns in the Finnish Orienteering Federation regarding the possibilities to stage an event for masters athletes in the winter of 2021 considering the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In expectation of the decision by the IMGA and organisers in Japan, the IOF has already started a process to see if an alternative organiser of a World Masters Orienteering Championships can be found for 2021. It is already clear that future appointed organisers, Italy in 2022 and Slovakia in 2023, are not able to move their events to 2021 and these will go ahead as planned. The IOF is therefore pursuing other opportunities and hopes to be able to make a decision about WMOC 2021 by the end of November 2020.

The IOF Council will also discuss at their upcoming meeting on November 20 what the status will be of the World Masters Games in Japan, which has been postponed to 2022.