Athletics

Invictus Games 2020 postponed due to coronavirus, says Prince Harry

Prince Harry (Gallo Images)
Prince Harry (Gallo Images)

The Invictus Games for wounded servicepeople have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Britain's Prince Harry said on Thursday.

The Olympic-style sports event featuring athletes from 20 countries was due to happen in The Hague in the Netherlands from 9 to 16 May but is now likely to be in 2021.

The Invictus Games are the brainchild of Harry, who served with the British military in Afghanistan.

"I'm really sorry we couldn't make this happen," Harry said in a video message on Twitter. "This was an increadibly difficult decision for all of us to have to make."

Harry said it was the "most sensible and the safest option for all of you, for your families and everybody else involved in these games."

"I know how disappointed you all must be, this is a focus that so many of you need, I would encourage you to maintain that focus as best you can. The good news is that you have an extra 12 months to get even fitter!"

Organisers said in a statement that they were "investigating all options to reschedule the Invictus Games, subject to the availability of key facilities and resources, to May or June 2021."

They are the latest in a series of sporting events to be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, including the Euro 2020 football championships.

Harry was in The Hague last year to mark one year until the games - and was presented with a romper suit for his then new-born son Archie.

The games would have been one of his first public appearances since he and his wife Meghan withdrew from royal duties.

The Netherlands has reported 2,460 coronavirus cases including 76 deaths.

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