US Olympic gymnastics trials shift venues due to Covid-19

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Washington (AFP)

Next month's US Olympic gymnastics trials in St. Louis have been moved to a new venue due to Covid-19 arena capacity limits and other virus-related challenges, USA Gymnastics said Tuesday.

The June 24-27 event will be where a US women's squad will be assembled to try and win a third consecutive gold medal in Tokyo and where Simone Biles tries to claim a chance to win back-to-back all-around titles and a fifth in a row by an American gymnast.

The event will be moved from the sold-out Enterprise Center, home of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, to the nearby Dome at America's Center, the former home of the NFL's St. Louis Rams.

All ticket holders for the arena were refunded their money and given first priority to purchase seats at the new venue.

"Like so much of this past year, we know that these Covid-related changes are disruptive to fans and ticketholders," said USA Gymnastics president and chief executive officer Li Li Leung.

"Nonetheless, we are looking forward to offering fans the chance to see trials live and to celebrate so many of our disciplines and community in person this summer."

The Olympic selection event for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and a national convention and trade show will be staged at the America's Center.

Final Covid-19 safety protocols for the new venue will be developed with venue and public health officials.