from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (ITNews Zimbabwe) – THE internationally-acclaimed Victoria Falls Marathon has been rescheduled as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues wreaking havoc across the globe.
The marathon, sponsored by mobile network operator, Econet, was initially set for the tourist resort town on July 5.
Organisers of the marathon, hopeful that the pandemic could be contained in the next six months, have now pushed the event to the end of the year.
“We have had to reschedule the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon. The event is now planned for 13 December 2020,” the organisers stated.
Athletes have thus been asked to reschedule their travelling arrangements.
In any case, it was unfeasible for athletes to travel to Zimbabwe as the country has suspended air flights and sealed its borders as part of measures against COVID-19.
The government has also prohibited the staging of sporting events.
A lockdown imposed in April has been extended indefinitely.
Consisting of a full 42km marathon, a half marathon and a 7,5km fun run among other activities of the day, the Victoria Falls Marathon attracts thousands of athletes from across the globe.
The annual event, which also is an initiative to boost tourism, usually attracts athletes from neighbouring countries such as Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
There are also regular participants from athletic powerhouses Ethiopia and Kenya as well as runners from far afield as United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).
The marathon is the latest sports event to be affected by COVID-19.
Cricket, football and rugby have also been laid low by the pandemic.
The 2020 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) that usually kicks off earlier in the year is now planned to start in September.
Zimbabwe has so far recorded 282 positive cases with four deaths and 29 recoveries while global figures have reached 7,2 million infections and over 412 000 deaths.