The 2020 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships, which were scheduled for November 11-18, have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be replaced by an online competition.
Host nation Peru, which successfully staged an IWF Grand Prix last November, will organise the online event, details of which are due tol be announced by the world governing body soon.
The IWF and local organisers in Lima consulted before the IWF issued a statement today which said the cancellation had been made "with great sadness" and was a result of "prioritising the health and safety of our young lifters".
With very few international qualifying competitions still on the calendar for 2020, there is a chance that no more "live" lifting will take place until next year.
The last Olympic qualifying contest to be held anywhere in the world was the Rogue Weightlifting Challenge in Columbus in Ohio, in the first week of March.
Caine Wilkes was the last man to make a competitive lift in qualifying for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and fellow American Mary Theissen-Lappen was the last woman.
Since then the qualifying schedule has been extended until April 30 next year.
One major event still on the calendar is the European Championships in Moscow, due to run from October 31 until November 8, but there are doubts about whether it will go ahead.
Europe was one of the continents worst affected by travel restrictions, along with Asia and Africa, for the Youth World Championships, said the Peruvian Weightlifting Federation President Renzo Manyari.
Canizares in Colombia is due to host the Pan American Junior Championships in late November, and the Kenyan capital Nairobi is listed to stage the African Youth and Junior Championships in December.
There are also December competitions listed in Chile, Barbados and Cali, Colombia.
Several senior figures in the IWF expect the return to live competition will be pushed back into 2021.
"I think it [the IWF Youth World Championships cancellation] is the best decision for the health and safety of our athletes," Manyari told insidethegames.
Manyari will be the key organiser of the Youth World Cup, the online competition which replaces the World Championships.
"It is a matter of coordinating with the IWF and I am grateful for their support," he said.
"I am waiting for the IWF’s decision on the format but it would be ideal if it is similar to the Online Pan American Cup since we are familiar with the system."
That landmark event in July – reported here by insidethegames – featured athletes from 15 nations who competed at local venues in their home town and whose efforts were streamed live.
It was organised from Peru by the Pan American Weightlifting Federation, and sponsored by the Chinese equipment manufacturer ZKC.
"I am sure we will be able to offer the world an online competition that will allow us to discover a new way of living our sport and a new level of excellence in event organisation," Manyari said.
"I don’t consider it to be a loss, on the contrary I see it as a wonderful opportunity to set a precedent for success and revive the dreams of younger athletes."