Following a board meeting on Monday 16 March, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), decided not to postpone or cancel the Comrades Marathon in KwaZulu-Natal just yet.
CMA Chairperson Cheryl Winn claimed that to do so would be “premature”, but pledged to re-evaluate the situation and possibly postpone the event on 17 April.
The decision not to immediately postpone the Comrades Marathon put Winn at odds with Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
He wrote on Twitter:
“The President of @AthleticsSA, Aleck Skhosana, has just reassured me that the #ComradesMarathon will NOT go ahead and he will ensure that all relevant parties and participants are informed.
“Please note: By law, no athletics event will go ahead without prior government approval.”
The initial media release by the Comrades Marathon following the CMA board meeting claimed that they would review the situation “under the ongoing guidance of the government on the virus, as well as ASA and KwaZulu-Natal Athletics”.
Given that Mthethwa has now publicly claimed that both he and Skhosana oppose the decision not to postpone the Comrades Marathon, it is likely that event organisers will issue a follow-up statement sooner than expected.
Will the 2020 Comrades Marathon go ahead?
At the time of writing – 18 March 2020 – the Comrades Marathon remains scheduled for 14 June as initially planned. A further assessment will be done closer to the date, but the situation across the world is fluid and changing rapidly.
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