IT might end up being two years later than initially planned, but the promise for Bathurst's Mount Panorama to stage "a global celebration of cross country running" remains.
It was announced this week that the World Athletics Cross Country Championships to be hosted at Mount Panorama will be pushed back until February 18, 2023, given the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic both in Australia and across the globe.
It was in February 2019 that Mount Panorama was confirmed as the first Australian venue in 25 years to host the world titles, which were initially scheduled for March 2021.
But COVID-19 has put the 44th edition of those titles on hold for an extended period. First came the news the event would be postponed until February 2022.
Now the wait has been further extended, but co-chair of the Local Organising Committee, Jill Davies, is determined to see the titles go ahead.
"Athletics Australia and the LOC are delighted that World Athletics and its partners have agreed to the postponement, which allows us to plan and deliver a world-class celebration of cross country running in February 2023," Davies said.
"This is one of the most exciting athletics events in the world and the iconic course at Mount Panorama will see some incredible racing.
"We will continue to work hard over the next year to be ready to welcome the world's best cross-country athletes and athletics fans to Bathurst for a global celebration of cross country running."
The event is expected to see more than 550 elite athletes from more than 60 countries converge on Mount Panorama.
Not only will it see the world's finest cross country runners battle for glory, but a number of mass participation events are also planned.
It is anticipated it will inject around $2.6 million into the Bathurst economy.
"Mount Panorama is a world-famous international racing track venue, attracting competitors from across the globe and is the perfect backdrop for the most important cross-country event in the world," Bathurst Mayor Ian North said.
"We're looking forward to hosting the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in 2023."
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