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Coronavirus latest: Wales Rally GB cancelled for first time in over 50 years

The race was set to run from October 29 to November 1.

The Wales Rally GB has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The race was set to run from October 29 to November 1 as the penultimate round in the 2020 World Rally Championship calendar. It typically attracts about 100,000 spectators to the forests of mid and north Wales.

It is the first time that the annual Rally GB event has been cancelled in more than 50 years.

Organisers have cited "too many unknown factors" as well as concerns surrounding safety restrictions imposed on large-scale gatherings – as well as international travel – as reasons against hosting the event.

David Richards, chairman of Motorsport UK, said: "This is not a decision that we have taken lightly but, in close consultation with our chief funding partner the Welsh Government, it is sadly one we are obliged to make in light of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

"As the governing body of UK motor sport, our overriding responsibility and absolute priority is always the safety of all involved whether they be competitors, officials, spectators or the many thousands of volunteers who share our passion for this sport, and we thank them all for their ongoing support and enthusiasm in these difficult times.

Japan's Takamoto Katsuta and Great Britain's Daniel Barritt during the Wales Rally GB
Japan's Takamoto Katsuta and Great Britain's Daniel Barritt during the Wales Rally GB (PA)

"We have been closely monitoring the guidance issued by Government and it is becoming increasingly clear that it is impossible to make plans with any certainty for such major events in the autumn.

"We therefore have to accept, with an incredibly heavy heart, that cancelling this year's event is the only responsible and prudent option. We will instead start focusing our attention on creating an even bigger and better world-class showcase for 2021."

Rally GB has only previously been stopped by World War Two in 1940, the Suez Crisis of 1957 and the resulting rationing in petrol, and the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1967. The event has been staged in Wales since 2000.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20231659
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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