Countries pull out of European Gymnastics Championship due to COVID-19

The annual European Artistic Gymnastics Championships are set to take place in mid-December, the men's championship running from 9-13 December and the women's running from 17-20 December. However, many countries have pulled out due to COVID-19. As of 20 November, the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and other countries have […]

Elizabeth Meade
3rd December 2020
The annual European Artistic Gymnastics Championships are set to take place in mid-December, the men's championship running from 9-13 December and the women's running from 17-20 December.

However, many countries have pulled out due to COVID-19. As of 20 November, the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and other countries have decided not to send athletes due to the risk. Poland is also not participating because the Polish Gymnastics Federation has been suspended over unpaid debt, which they incurred while hosting last year's Championships in Szczecin.

This event is normally a huge part of the sport for European gymnasts because it is an Olympic-qualifying event. However, given the situation, the European Union of Gymnastics undesignated the event as such in order to avoid pressuring teams to attend. Additionally, after France and Azerbaijan chose not to host the event, it has been moved to Mersin, Turkey. For reference, Turkey is currently at a rate of 4000 novel COVID-19 cases per day, their highest yet, which is still increasing. (Source: Worldometers). Russia and others have chosen to pull out for another reason as well--the political situation in Turkey has deterred countries from attending.

Currently, it is uncertain as to whether any more countries will withdraw from the event, as there are still a few weeks before the championships are set to occur.

Featured Image: Twitter @UEGymnastics
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