As expected United World Wrestling (UWW) has decided to call off the Wrestling World Championship in Serbia in December. The Wrestling World Championships will not take place this year and the UWW Congress has been delayed until 2021, both because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The World Championships had been due to run from December 12 to 20 in Belgrade, with the Congress taking place in the same city.
A World Cup event in the Serbian capital will be held in place of the World Championships, UWW has decided, after calling them off.
New dates for the Congress – where UWW President Nenad Lalović is expected to win another six-year term unopposed – have not yet been determined.
UWW had set a target of at least eight of the top 10 nations from last year’s World Championships, and 70 per cent of athletes, attending the 2020 event for it to go ahead.
However, countries including Japan and the United States opted out due to the coronavirus concerns and travel restrictions.
Member federations had a November 5 deadline to confirm their interest in sending a team to Belgrade, but this deadline passed with UWW’s targets not reached.
The World Championships have been called off as a result.
A World Cup leg will take place in Belgrade lieu of the World Championships, with precise dates yet to be decided.
“We want to see our athletes compete again on the mat,” Lalović said in a statement.
“It’s important to our organization and we are committed to providing them an opportunity.
“There are real challenges to overcome, but we are working together to find a safe and acceptable format where our top athletes can compete in a world class event.”
Lalović, who also sits on the International Olympic Committee Executive Board, will be up for re-election when the Congress is eventually held.