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By Neto Baptiste

The Antigua and Barbuda Amateur Bodybuilding & Weightlifting Federation (ABABWF) has postponed its national championship by almost three months as the world continues to grapple with the deadly effects of the coronavirus or Covid-19 pandemic.

The competition, originally scheduled for June 6, has been moved to August 29.

President of the federation, Dave George, said that not even the new date is written in stone given the unpredictability of the deadly virus.

“We are dealing with a very unique situation, a very forever changing, fluid, evolving situation with this Covid-19, and never has anyone of us seen anything like this, so, a lot of us are guessing. [For] a lot of heads of organisations and sporting bodies or fraternities, it’s just a guessing game, but what we are trying to do is to give ourselves the greatest opportunity, the greatest chance of having a show,” he said.

“Things could change tomorrow, things could change in May, we could well come to a situation where there is a total cancellation, we don’t know, but at this time we found it necessary [that] the best decision we could make at this time, and with the facts that we have now, that postponement is the best option,” he added.

The decision, according to George, was made in unison with the athletes as they are the most affected by the change.

“Without the athletes there is no show, and our sport is very unique; it’s not like dominoes, warri or chess that you can resume on a whim. You have a moving situation that you have to look and see how much time the athletes are going to need because they started prepping for a show on June 6. So we looked at the possible postpone dates and gave them options and they agreed that August 29 is a fair date… so they as athletes know how much time their bodies would need,” the bodybuilding head said. 

Athletes will, however, be able to opt out of the pending nationals with a full refund of their registration fees, given the situation.

“We also offered the athletes the option of advising the federation if they are desirous of withdrawing from the show, and if they do so then they will be issued a full refund under the circumstances. We had 55 athletes who were registered at the point of the last registration deadline and to date, only two athletes have submitted notifications for them to be reimbursed because they are withdrawing from the show,” George said. 

A number of major sporting competitions across the globe have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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