Which sports have resumed and when will the rest follow? – Powys County Times

The London Marathon has confirmed the postponed 2020 event will be for elite athletes only.

Last month, it was announced the Premier League and English Football League would begin their 2020-21 seasons on September 12.

The 2020 Six Nations campaigns are set to conclude on the weekends of October 24 and 31, while a programme of autumn internationals have also been approved.

Formula One, meanwhile, has added three more European races in Germany, San Marino and Portugal after abandoning its American swing of the 2020 calendar, with four races all cancelled.

Here, the PA news agency takes a sport-by-sport look at how the calendar is shaping up.

London Marathon

Organisers have confirmed the 2020 London Marathon will be an elite-athlete only event.

Elite races for men, women and wheelchair athletes will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park on October 4 in a secure biosphere, with the times counting towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification. No spectators will be allowed.

Athletes confirmed for the race include Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, women’s world record holder Brigid Kosgei and para athletes David Weir and Manuela Schar.

Those who had planned to take part in the event – originally postponed from April 26 to October due to the coronavirus pandemic – have been offered the option to defer their places to the 2021, 2022 or 2023 events.

The 41st race in 2021 is also set to take place in the autumn, on October 3, to give people more certainty and confidence in the event going ahead.

Additionally, 45,000 people who were supposed to take part in the event in the spring will take part in a “virtual race” across the world. They will receive a finisher’s medal and T-shirt for completing the 26.2-mile distance from home anywhere in the world within 24 hours on October 4.

Rugby union

The rescheduled fixtures to complete the delayed 2020 Six Nations tournament have been confirmed for the end of October – and also plans for an eight-team expanded autumn Test series, which is expected to include Fiji and Japan.

International rugby was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in March, leaving four Six Nations matches left to play.

World Rugby has approved a temporary global player release window between October 24 and the first weekend of December.

The Gallagher Premiership, meanwhile, restarts the 2019-20 season on August 14, with matches played behind closed doors. The competition will adopt the rule changes recommended by World Rugby to lower the risk of viral transmission.

The British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa next summer is to go ahead as scheduled.

Rugby league

The 2020 Super League season resumed on August 2 at Headingley – with games being played at a small number of neutral grounds.

Super League champions St Helens eased their way back into action with a resounding 34-6 win over a disappointing Catalans Dragons, while Leeds staged a dramatic late fightback to earn a golden-point victory over Huddersfield and go top of the table.

Toronto Wolfpack, though, had withdrawn from the remainder of the campaign, citing the “overwhelming financial challenges” of the coronavirus crisis. Their results so far have now been expunged from the records.

The clubs have agreed to a reduced competition, with a Grand Final taking place in November.

Football

Fulham secured their return to the Premier League with victory over Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley on Tuesday night.

A compressed new campaign of top-flight and EFL football will kick off on September 12, with the Premier League drawing to a close on May 23 and the Championship’s regular season due to conclude on May 9 before play-offs later in the month. The dates for domestic cup competitions are yet to be determined.

With no fans allowed in stadiums before October 1 at the earliest, it means the season will begin behind closed doors.

The new kick-off date means the final week of pre-season will be an international window, while it comes only three weeks after the scheduled Champions League final, in which Manchester City and Chelsea could yet be involved.

Formula One

Lewis Hamilton claimed victory at the British Grand Prix when completing the final lap of Silverstone on three wheels following a puncture, but hopes of Formula One taking the action to the Americas this year have been abandoned.

Four races in Texas, Mexico, Brazil and Canada all cancelled.

Instead, three further European races have been added at the Nurburgring, Imola and Portimao. Imola, synonymous with the death of triple world champion Ayrton Senna in 1994, will host a race on November 1, its first Grand Prix since 2006.

The race at Portimao will be the track’s maiden grand prix and the first in Portugal since 1996.

Silverstone will host 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on August 9.

Some 13 races have been announced so far, all in Europe, and starting with two races at the Red Bull Ring during July.

Three consecutive rounds in the Middle East are expected to be confirmed – with Bahrain to host two races before the Abu Dhabi season closer in December.

There remains hope a maiden race in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi can be arranged for mid-November.

Snooker

The snooker season had resumed with behind-closed-doors tournaments in Milton Keynes.

The rearranged World Championships started at the Crucible on July 31, with it initially being a test event for a small number of socially-distanced fans to be allowed into the Sheffield venue.

However, on the first day of the tournament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a lunchtime announcement in which he said the pilot schemes – which had also included racing and cricket – must end due to fears over a rising number of coronavirus cases across the country.

Cricket

Joe Root guided England to victory as international cricket returned
Joe Root guided England to victory as international cricket returned (Michael Steele/PA)

England’s delayed three-Test series against the West Indies was finally able to be completed – amid strictly regulated and ‘bio-secure’ environments – as Joe Root’s side recovered from losing at Southampton to secure a morale-boosting victory.

Ireland played three one-day internationals in England between July 30 and August 4, with the hosts emerging triumphant, while Pakistan will now provide Test and ODI opposition in August and September.

County cricket was given the go-ahead to start on August 1 by the England and Wales Cricket Board with a truncated Bob Willis Trophy.

Pilot events for the phased return of live sporting crowds had seen some 1,000 fans at the Kia Oval for the friendly between Surrey and Middlesex, before the scheme was scrapped by the government in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Men’s T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in Australia in October and November, has been postponed.

Tennis

Question marks remain over the US Open, which is due to begin in New York on August 31 after defending champion Rafael Nadal pulled out citing concerns over coronavirus.

The four-time winner at Flushing Meadows does not want to travel to the United States for the event while Covid-19 cases are on the rise, with a spike in Nadal’s Spain homeland having already led to the cancellation of the Madrid Open.

Nick Kyrgios had also earlier confirmed he would not play at the event, while fellow Australian Ashleigh Barty, the current women’s world number one, has also withdrawn from the tournament.

The women’s WTA Tour has resumed with the Palermo Open, while the men’s ATP Tour will start for the first time since March on August 22.

Golf

The European Tour resumed on July 9 with the Austrian Open, prior to a six-tournament ‘UK Swing’ behind closed doors.

However, this year’s Ryder Cup, scheduled for Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, has been postponed until 2021 due to the extent of the coronavirus crisis in the USA.

The Open has been cancelled for the first time since 1945, but the US Open and the Masters are still scheduled to take place in September and November respectively, with the year’s first major the US PGA Championship being staged in San Francisco in early August.

The PGA Tour resumed in the US but a number of players withdrew from its events citing health concerns, and initial plans to allow some spectators at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio were scrapped.

Cycling

A revised schedule for the UCI World Tour takes place from August 1, with 25 events planned.

A number of smaller races have started, with Team Ineos returning to action at the Vuelta Burgos which began on July 28.

Chris Froome took part in La Route d’Occitanie, finishing more than nine minutes off the pace as Team Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal clinched victory.

The Tour de France will take place with an altered route starting on August 29 and concluding on September 20, while the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana will overlap in October.

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