The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has announced a 24-hour change to the dates for Birmingham 2022.
Competition will now take place between July 28 and August 8, instead of July 27 and August 7.
The slight adjustment comes after the “significant impact to the international sporting calendar caused by COVID-19”, the CGF said.
It means the Games will now open on a Thursday and end on a Monday, and include two full weekends.
The move follows “multiple collaborative discussions” after the coronavirus pandemic caused a major re-working of the sporting calendar, including the shifting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics until 2021.
Both the World Athletics Championships in Oregon and the UEFA Women’s Football Championship in England have been moved from 2021 to 2022 as part of a domino effect of events, so join Birmingham 2022 in a packed summer schedule.
With the World Athletics Championships due to take place between July 15 and 24, the slight delay to Birmingham 2022 will extend the rest and recovery period for athletes.
The CGF are hoping that the top track and field stars who are eligible will compete in Birmingham, despite 2022 also including the European Championships in Munich in August.
“In unprecedented circumstances, I am delighted that we have been able to work in partnership to ensure that the Commonwealth Games will take pride of place in what will be a fantastic summer of sport,” said CGF President Dame Louise Martin.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all areas of life, including the international sporting calendar, has been huge.
“In adversity, I have been proud to work closely alongside partner International Federations and governing bodies to help shape a spectacular six-week period of elite sport.
“It demonstrates the very best of sport working at the service of athletes.”
The Women’s Football Championship, which was moved to 2022 when this year’s men’s event was pushed back to 2021, is planned for between July 6 and 31 so will still clash slightly with Birmingham 2022.
However, the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony will no longer clash with the tournament’s semi-finals.
Both events are taking place in England.
“On behalf of the Commonwealth Sports Movement, I am pleased that 2022 will now be a real celebration of women’s sport,” Dame Louise added.
“I would like to thank World Athletics, UEFA and The FA for working with us to navigate very difficult circumstances to create an amazing summer of sport for fans and spectators.”
John Crabtree, chairman of Birmingham 2022, added: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on the international sporting calendar for the next couple of years.
“This has understandably needed to be reshaped and rewritten and we’ve spent the last few weeks working with other organisations to align, collaborate, and analyse what these changes mean for Birmingham 2022, our athletes, our spectators, our TV viewers, and our partners.
“As well as this slight change to our dates we are working on a detailed competition schedule for our 19 sports, looking at how we can maximise the recovery time for those athletes who will be looking to participate in more than one major event in two years’ time.
“We’re grateful for the expert input we continue to receive from international federations, national governing bodies and athletes’ advisory committees and we’ll release more information later in the year.
“Birmingham 2022 will be at the heart of a superb summer of sport, which will be particularly exciting for sports fans in the UK, with the UEFA Women’s Football Championships and the Commonwealth Games being held back-to-back.”
The World Athletics Championships were moved back to 2022 to avoid a clash with the re-arranged Tokyo 2020 next year.
“As we said in April, 2022 will be a bonanza for athletics fans around the world as they are treated to a summer of absolutely first-class athletics,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who was yesterday proposed for International Olympic Committee membership.
“More than 70 of our Member Federations are part of the Commonwealth and more than 50 Member Federations are European so our guiding principle in rescheduling the World Championships was to ensure enough space was created around the centrepiece World Athletics Championship for athletes to choose other major events to compete in.
“It is tight and we would not have chosen to have three major championships back-to-back but it will give us a unique opportunity to promote athletics and its talented stars around the globe in back to back competitions.”
Source: the CGF