The Athletics Federation of India’s competition committee has decided to go ahead with the first two rounds of the Indian Grand Prix with the caveat that there will be no spectators present.
Furthermore, the second round will also have to be held at NIS Patiala, the venue of the opening round, instead of the originally-scheduled Sangrur.
“IGP-1 will be held on 20 March 2020 and IGP-2 will be held on 25 March 2020 as per schedule. The venue of both the competitions will be SAI NS-NIS Patiala,” the AFI said as part of a press release.
These and a host of other stringent measures have been undertaken to ensure the event goes by as safely as possible during the current situation.
Proceeding with caution
The announcements come following the AFI’s meeting on Saturday after the Indian government began its clampdown efforts on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic with travel restraints and preventing large gatherings.
To that end, the AFI also stipulated that any personal coaches, support staff, family members or friends of the athletes who are not part of the National Coaching Camp will be denied entry into the venue.
Even for the athletes, the non-campers will be allowed entry into the NS-NIS campus following a medical check by the AFI/SAI (Sports Authority of India) medical team at the SAI NS-NIS gate.
The AFI’s press release also stated that “all the athletes will be provided with an accreditation card" and they have to "leave the venue soon after completion of their event without waiting to witness other events.”
Competitors will be restricted in their movements between the NS-NIS entry gate to the athletics track and those not part of the National Coaching Camps will not be allowed in the residential hostels and guesthouses.
Star sprinter Dutee Chand in action
One of India's leading sprinters, Dutee Chand is set to take part in the event.
Chand will be hoping to achieve the 100m and 200m Olympic cutoff times.
Chand kicked off her campaign with gold at the Khelo India University Games last month.
Revised first competition events:
Men's- 200m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put & Javelin Throw; Women's- 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Javelin Throw.
Revised second competition events:
Men's - 200m, 400m, 1500m, 5000m, 400m Hurdles, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put & Javelin Throw; Women's- 100m, 400m, 800m, 5000m, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Javelin Throw.