The International Fencing Federation (FIE) has postponed all of its events scheduled for the next five weeks into April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Four qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 are among those events affected as well as a host of other Grand Prix and World Cup competitions scheduled for the coming weeks.
Africa and Asia’s Olympic qualifier events, scheduled to begin in Cairo, Egypt, and Seoul, South Korea respectively on 15 April will now both not go ahead as planned. The same applies to the European event in Madrid, Spain and the Americas qualifier in Panama City which were both due to begin on 18 April but are now also suspended.
The FIE Grand Prix in Anaheim, California, USA for men’s and women’s foil fencers was due to take place over this weekend but was one of the first events to be cancelled.
Four FIE World Cup events beginning on 20 March – namely the men’s sabre in Budapest, Hungary, the women’s sabre in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, the men’s épée in Buenos Aires, Argentina and women’s épée in Tashkent, Uzbekistan – have also been called off.
Another major event postponed is the Junior and Cadet World Championships which were due to start in Salt Lake City, USA, on 3 April.
The FIE are reportedly “working hard” to ensure the events can be held at a later date.
As a consequence, the zonal qualifying events for the Olympic Games must also be postponed since the qualifying competitions of the FIE calendar must take place beforehand.
They have stated they are in constant contact with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is fully informed of the situation and that they are requesting an extension of the qualification period for fencing.
The FIE are closely monitoring the situation which develops worldwide on a daily basis and stated that the resumption of competitions is set to be decided within the 30 day suspension period currently in force.