Confirmation of the event’s postponement came on the same day that it was announced that the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be moved to 2021.
“It is with regret that World Athletics, together with the Government of Kenya and Athletics Kenya, have made the decision to postpone the World Athletics U20 Championships Nairobi 2020, due to the ongoing challenges posed by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) internationally,” said the global governing body.
“The current global situation would have seriously compromised the event at this time as many countries are restricting international travel, invoking necessary quarantines and advising citizens and event organisers to avoid mass gatherings.
“We had to consider the health and well-being of athletes, officials and spectators in making this call. We recognise the immense preparations that have gone into the event and wanted to give certainty to the athletes as early as possible as we collectively come to terms with the global impact and threats associated with COVID-19.”
The global under-20 event had been scheduled for July 7-12. New dates for the championships are yet to be confirmed.
“We are working together to identify a mutually appropriate alternative date convenient for the Government of Kenya and elite competitors,” added World Athletics.
Other World Athletics events to have so far been postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic include the World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia and the World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk.