February 27, 2020 / 5:13 PM / a month ago

RPT-Switzerland's largest sporting event cancelled due to coronavirus

(Repeats fixing typo in first para)

ZURICH, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The annual Engadin ski marathon, one of the world’s largest cross-country skiing events with around 14,000 participants, has been cancelled because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, organisers said on Thursday.

Switzerland confirmed three new cases on Thursday, taking the total to four, including a couple in the canton of Grisons where the 42-kilometre race was due to take place on March 8.

It is only the second time in its 51-year history that the race, Switzerland’s largest mass sporting event, has been cancelled. The 1991 event was called off because of warm weather.

“We very much regret that we have to cancel the Engadin Marathon but health of runners, helpers and the population naturally comes first,” said Menduri Kasper, the Engadin Skimarathon chief executive.

Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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