Postponement World Championships (Para swimming and Para powerlifting), Mexico City
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has postponed the World Para Swimming and World Para Powerlifting Championships which were due to begin in Mexico City on 30 September following Tuesday’s (19 September) devastating earthquake in the country. The decision was taken following an assessment of the current situation and after close liaison with the Local Organising Committee and the City of Mexico government.
Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, Paralympics New Zealand) said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with the people of Mexico at this time. We have been working closely with the IPC and New Zealand government officials since the devastating earthquake took place to ensure the safety of all New Zealand Paralympians, Para athletes and support staff. Sophie Pascoe and Matt Gordon were due to compete in these championships however both athletes are not yet in Mexico City. All New Zealand Paralympians, Para athletes and support staff have been advised of the postponement and will not be travelling to Mexico City at this time.“
She continued: “We support the decision by the IPC and have appreciated their regular communication and the swift action taken to ensure the safety of all athletes. We will continue to work with the IPC as they assess whether they can reorganise these Championships in the near future in Mexico City or seek alternative event options.“
Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude quake has left hundreds dead and caused major damage to buildings and infrastructure in Mexico City and the surrounding area. Although the two venues that were set to host the Championships – the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool and the adjacent Juan de la Barrera Olympic Gymnasium – appear to have sustained only minor damage, a full structural assessment will be conducted. In addition some of the hotels set to accommodate athletes and related infrastructure have been badly damaged.
This is the first time the IPC has had to postpone a major Championships in its history.