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Coronavirus: World mixed doubles, seniors curling championships in Kelowna cancelled

The World Curling Federation says two world championships set to take place in Kelowna, B.C., next month were cancelled on Saturday because more than 60 teams and 400 participants were expected. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ted S. Warren

The world mixed doubles and world senior curling championships set for Kelowna next month were cancelled on Saturday because of coronavirus concerns.

In making the announcement, the World Curling Federation said the international events were cancelled because more than 60 teams were expected, including 400 athletes, coaches, supporters and media.

Earlier this week, the provincial government announced that it was urging event organizers to cancel any gatherings larger than 250 people to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

READ MORE: World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George, B.C., cancelled amid coronavirus pandemic

The world mixed doubles and world senior curling championships were to take place at the Kelowna Curling Club, April 18-25.

“This decision comes following a recommendation from British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and careful deliberation with public health officials and event organizers, along with various national travel restrictions that have come into place around the world in the past 48 hours,” the World Curling Federation said in a press release.

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The federation added that with these cancellations, it will now consider the implications on mixed doubles Olympic qualification.

Also Saturday, the federation announced the cancellation of the world men’s curling championship in Scotland, March 28 to April 5.

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The cancellations in Kelowna and Scotland followed Thursday’s cancellation of the world women’s curling championship in Prince George.

“It’s with great regret and disappointment that it has not been possible to run all of our flagship World Curling Championships in 2020,” said World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness.

“But, it’s vitally important to remember that we are not alone in doing so, with fellow sporting bodies around the globe also having to make these difficult decisions. Ultimately our first priority is always the health and well-being of our athletes, officials, fans and staff.”

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The federation said tickets will be refunded.

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