As a sports federation, USATF has to make some very tough decisions. 

USATF also knows that, on many decisions, support will be divided. 

As a media site that spends most of its days and nights covering our sport, globally, nationally and regionally, RunBlogRun takes its responsibility to provide context on many situations. 

RunBlogRun is as confused as any of our readers about USATF’s recent decision not to participate in the U20 World Athletics Championships in Lima, Peru. This is the second U20 championship in a row that USATF will not send a team. 

USATF’s answers do not seem to tell the entire story. In terms of security issues, the US just sent a full team to the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, and Serbia has the exact same security rating as Peru.

We think that it is an unfortunate decision by USATF. 

We also wonder if there will be any consequences for the USATF withdrawal, considering that TrackTown is hosting the next U20.  

Again, this just hurts the U20 athletes who have no opportunities to compete at a global level. We have provided our readers the entire transcript of notes from USATF. 

USATF MEMORANDUM – WORLD ATHLETICS U20 CHAMPIONSHIPS LIMA 24

We are writing to inform you of an important update regarding USATF’s participation in the 2024 World Athletics U20 Championships, which will take place August 26-31 in Lima, Peru.

After careful consideration concerning both the domestic & international athletics calendar, consultation amongst the internal team, advice of security consultants, and relevant government authorities, it has been decided that USA Track & Field will not be sending a Team to the 2024 World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Peru. Athletes for this Team would have qualified via a top-place finish in events at the USATF Under-20 Championships, held on June 12-13, 2024, in Eugene, OR. We understand that this decision may be disappointing for those looking forward to participating, but we are responsible for prioritizing the safety and security of all involved.

This decision was made after deliberation over several months considering the following factors:

Safety: Travel advisories were issued by the US State Department because of the ongoing civil unrest in the area and for US citizens generally. The safety and well-being of our athletes, coaches, managers, and staff are paramount to us.
Event Date: The August 26-31 date of the event is at the end of the summer period, which will be problematic for many high school and college athletes, as many will have already returned to school/campuses for the 2024-2025 academic year. In addition, schools and colleges’ distance/cross-country athletes will be early in their cross-country season.
Competitive Readiness: Despite the competitive opportunities offered by USATF to high school-aged athletes through its Association, then Regional, then National Junior Olympic program, many high school and college athletes who might have qualified for Team USA would lack adequate competitive opportunities during the period between the end of the USATF U20 Championships in mid- June until the late August start of the event in Peru – nearly 11 weeks.

This situation would severely limit the competitive readiness of Team USA athletes for this World-level competition.

We appreciate your understanding and support in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at communications@usatf.org.

​ 

 

By