Melbourne, Australia; April 11 2021 – Athletics Australia has confirmed the withdrawal of the Australian Team from the 2021 World Athletics Relay Championships, to be staged in Silesia, Poland on 1-2 May.

The decision was made in light of the COVID-19 situation in Poland and greater Europe, with the safety and wellbeing of Australian participants at the forefront of the decision making process.

Athletics Australia CEO Darren Gocher said whilst the withdrawal is disappointing for athletes, a thorough process had been undertaken to consider all associated risks with travelling to Poland and the quarantine requirements on their return to Australia.

Australia’s John Steffensen, Ben Offereins, Tristan Thomas and Sean Wroe celebrate their third place in the men’s 4x400m relay.

“It is always disappointing to withdraw a team from a major event however we believe the decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of our athletes, staff and coaches.” Gocher said.

“We acknowledge the work World Athletics is doing in attempting to hold a safe event ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, however after seeking the advice of medical professionals and considering health risks, current government advice and the need to quarantine upon return to Australia, it was decided it is not viable or safe to travel to Poland for this event.”

In lieu of the World Athletics Relay Championships, Athletics Australia will look to host relay specific events in June with the support of Oceania Athletics, so that Australia’s relay teams can attempt the qualifying standards needed to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games this July.