The International Canoe Federation and COPAC have been forced to cancel next month’s Pan American COPAC canoe slalom Olympic qualifers in Rio because of ongoing concerns about the spread of Covid-19.

The ICF has also been forced to postpone three events in Europe because of coronavirus uncertainty.

The ICF will now enter discussions with the International Olympic Committee to determine the allocation of remaining Olympic quotas for the COPAC region, after taking the difficult decision to cancel the April 29-May 2 qualifiers.

“In a perfect world, we would have the best canoe slalom paddlers from the COPAC region assembling in Rio, all having had the same training opportunities, fighting for a ticket to the Olympic Games,” ICF Secretary-General, Simon Toulson said.

“But this is not a perfect world. COPAC, event organisers and the ICF have worked as hard as we possible can to hold this event, but unfortunately the Covid situation in Brazil makes it impossible for us to invite athletes and officials to Rio for competition.”

The ICF stand up paddling world championships in Hungary, the junior and U23 canoe sprint world championships in Portugal, and the ICF wildwater canoe world cup in France, have all been delayed until later this year.

Mr Toulson said while the delays may inconvenience many people, the health and safety of all participants must remain the priority of the organisers.

“Nobody likes to have to change plans, but we are sure everyone understands the crisis that is being experienced around the world at the moment,” Mr Toulson said.

“There are many parts of the world where athletes are still unable to travel, or even train. We have taken the decision it is better to delay these events until a time that we can host competitions in a much safer, fairer way.

“All three host countries effected are very experienced at hosting major canoeing events, so we can be confident all three postponed events will be of exceptional quality for all involved.”

The ICF SUP world championships, scheduled for Balatonfured, Hungary, in June, will now be held at the same location on the weekend of September 9-12.

The ICF junior and U23 canoe sprint world championships, which were to be held at Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal, in July, has now been scheduled for September 3-6, also at the same location.

The first three ICF wildwater canoeing world cups had been scheduled for Treignac, France, in May, but will now be held from October 1 to 3.

Canoe Sprint
Canoe Slalom
Wildwater Canoeing
Stand Up Paddling