Gymnastics Australia withdraws team from World University Games

Gymnastics Australia has taken the decision to not send a team to compete at the 2022 World University Games (WUG) in Chengdu, China.

Upon completion of our normal event risk assessment (inclusive of covid-19 risk assessment) the Gymnastics Australia High Performance Program has determined the risk of attendance at the WUG to be above an acceptable level. 

At all times during the global pandemic, the safety and welfare of athletes and officials has been of the utmost importance to Gymnastics Australia.

Whilst recognising the importance of international competition experience and the change in international travel requirements for many countries around the world it is felt that the risk of attending the University Games in China remains an unacceptable risk for our athletes and officials. 

In making its decision Gymnastics Australia considered many factors including but not limited to: 

  • No direct flights from Australia are available into Chengdu. It will be necessary to catch a charter flight (likely from Singapore) thus increasing the length of time participants will be required to be away.
  • The Local Organising Committee have provided no clear plan for departing China if an athlete or official were to miss the return charter flight due to being isolated with COVID or COVID like symptoms.
  • The risk of catching COVID or being designated as a close contact and the associated quarantine conditions.
    • Close contact definition includes sitting in the same row or within two rows in front / behind on the charter flight
      • Close contacts are subject to extra testing and monitoring, including isolation from other team members in village
    • Catching COVID means you will go to a quarantine isolation hospital. Cannot be released until:
      • Temperature returns to normal
      • Provided two (2) negative PCR tests 24 hours apart
      • There will be no allowance for support personnel 
  • Currently if regions are locked down the lock down comes into immediate effect and people are locked down in the exact location where they are at the time of lockdown. ie office blocks, gym halls
  • A number of other countries have withdrawn their team in its entirety
    • Britain 
    • Canada 
    • New Zealand 
  • Athletics and Swimming Australia have also made the decision not to send their athletes.

Gymnastics Australia remains committed to both Australian and World University Sport and look forward to competing in the World Games again in the future noting that the next event is in 2023.

Announcements from other federations:

Canada, citing health and safety concerns.
New Zealand, citing the risks involved and international travel requirements.