Suspension of Northern Ireland athletics extended to 30 June

Matt Wigelsworth came home first ahead of Andrew Coscoran in the men's 1500m at last year's Belfast Milers Meet
The Belfast Milers Meet was scheduled to take place on 20 June

The suspension of athletics competition in Northern Ireland because of Covid-19 has been extended until 30 June.

The previous suspension of the sport announced in the middle of March had been until 31 May.

As a result of the announcement, the Belfast Milers Meet scheduled for 20 June has been cancelled.

"We have taken the decision to extend the suspension of competition activity due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic," said Athletics NI.

The statement added that the decision had been taken "in recognition that event organisers, clubs, athletes, officials and coaches need clarity, advanced notice and time to plan".

The decision was taken "in collaboration with the other home country athletics federations and UK Athletics", continued Athletics Northern Ireland.

The statement did add that the suspension of athletics activity outside of competition which is currently in place until 31 May would be "reviewed" over the coming weeks.

"We will wait for a further announcement from the government in relation to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown period, expected during week commencing 4 May, before further reviewing and updating on the current suspension period covering all other athletics activity."

In response, Belfast Milers Meet event director Eamonn Christie confirmed the cancellation of his popular event scheduled for the Mary Peters Track on 20 June.

"We have decided to cancel our track meet rather than postpone. This is to protect the health and safety of the athletes, officials, volunteers and spectators," said Christie.

The Belfast event, which had attracted a major new sponsorship this year in leading Irish sports nutrition company Kinetica Sports, has developed into one of the top meetings in Ireland over the last number of years.

Christie says the meeting will return in 2021 and promises to refund athletes who have already paid an entry fee for this year's event.

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