USATF Refuses to Send Athletes to World U20s Due to Travel Advisories and Competitive Concerns

The U.S.A. Track and Field announced that it will not be involved in the upcoming World U20 Championships in Lima, Peru. This decision was made due to various reasons, including travel advisories and concerns about competitive readiness. Peru currently has a Level 2 travel advisory according to the U.S. Department of State, along with other countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden.

The dates of the event, August 26-31, were also cited as problematic for many high school and college athletes because they will have already returned to school or campuses for the 2024-2025 calendar year. Despite being the top medal-earner in the last World U20 Championships held in 2022 in Colombia, the U.S. has decided to withdraw from this year’s event in Peru.

This is not the first time the U.S. has opted out of participating in a World U20 Championship. Three years ago, they pulled out of the event in Nigeria for similar reasons, including safety advisories and concerns around COVID. Since 1994, the U.S. has been a dominant force in the World U20 Championships, leading the medal count nine times over the last 15 meets.

In March, USATF announced a partnership with the National Scholastic Foundation to integrate the U.S. U20 Outdoor Championships within the Nike Outdoor Nationals event. This championship meet, set for June 12-15 in 2024, aims to provide a platform for the next generation of track and field stars to showcase their talents. This decision aligns with USATF’s commitment to fostering the development of young athletes and promoting the sport of track and field.

By Samantha Robertson

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