New York, Berlin cancel marathons due to coronavirus

Marathons in New York and Berlin were cancelled yesterday due to concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers announced, as other races ponder their plans.

The New York Road Runners, after consulting with New York mayor Bill de Blasio, called off the planned Nov 1 race, which would have been the 50th edition of the world's largest marathon with more than 50,000 finishers expected.

"While the marathon is an iconic and beloved event in our city, I applaud New York Road Runners for putting the health and safety of both spectators and runners first," de Blasio said.

This marks the first year the New York race has not been contested since 2012, when Hurricane Sandy wiped out the event.

The next race has been scheduled for Nov 7, 2021.

Berlin Marathon organisers cited trouble finding an alternate date due to the pandemic in calling off an event that drew 62,000 runners last year.

In late April, a postponement was announced for the Berlin race, which had been scheduled for Sept 27. But virus issues forced it to be scrapped.

The decisions came weeks after the Boston Marathon was cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history.

The London Marathon has been moved to Oct 4, the Chicago Marathon remains scheduled for Oct 11 and the Paris Marathon for Oct 18.  - AFP