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World Athletics to hold its traditional Awarding Ceremony this year ‘as a virtual event’

According to the statement from World Athletics, eight awards, including those in three new categories, will be presented

MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. The world’s governing body of track and field athletics, World Athletics, announced on Monday that its annual awarding ceremony would be organized this year on December 5 in the format of ‘a virtual event.’

"This year's finest athletics achievements will be celebrated at the World Athletics Awards 2020, to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel," World Athletics’ press office announced in a statement.

"This year’s ceremony will recognize exceptional achievement in what has been an extraordinary and unprecedented year, both on and off the fields of play, and celebrate the athletes who met the challenges of 2020 head-on to produce some of the finest performances in the history of our sport," the statement reads. "Once again, athletics fans from around the world will be invited to help select the male and female athletes of the year."

Commenting on the decision, World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: "In a disruptive year our athletes continued to train hard and our event organizers went above and beyond to deliver four full Diamond League events and four Diamond League exhibition meetings, seven Continental Tour Gold events, a World Half Marathon Championships and a number of innovative virtual events including the Ultimate Garden Clash."

"Whilst this was not the year any of us had planned for, I am proud of our athletes, our meeting organizers and the World Athletics team for their tenacity and determination," Coe said. "This is what we will celebrate at this year’s Annual Awards."

According to the statement from World Athletics, "Eight awards, including those in three new categories, will be presented: Male and Female Athlete of the Year; President’s Award; Coaching Achievement Award; Covid Inspiration Award; Member Federations Award; Athletes Community Award; and Athletics Photograph of the Year."

COVID-19 pandemic

In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 43, 544,800 people have been infected worldwide and more than 1,161,760 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 32,035,090 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, 1,531,224 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,146,096 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 26,269 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.