Ice hockey-Calgary to host postponed women's world championships

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(Reuters) - The women's ice hockey world championships, postponed early this year because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Halifax, have been rescheduled for Aug. 20-31 and moved to Calgary, Hockey Canada and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on Wednesday.

As teams were preparing to arrive in Canada for the May 6-16 tournament the Nova Scotia provincial government ruled that the 10-country competition could not go ahead due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19.

"Despite the unfortunate cancellation of the IIHF Women’s World Championship in April, Hockey Canada’s ongoing priority has been to host the event this year, and we have remained committed to running a world-class event in Canada,” Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer with Hockey Canada said in a statement.

“A tremendous amount of work and collaboration with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services has taken place to ensure the event will be held in a safe and secure manner."

With Canada emerging from a third wave of the virus, Hockey Canada said teams arriving in Calgary would go straight into quarantine, before practices and possible pre-tournament games.

It will be the eighth time Canada has staged the championships. Last year's championships were cancelled because of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Clare Fallon)