Athlete availability and a short lead-in time has forced the postponement of the Sir Peter Snell International Track Meeting at Cooks Gardens later this month.

Russell Sears of the Sports Heritage Trust confirmed yesterday the event initially scheduled for March 18-21 has been postponed until 2019.

"After undertaking a risk assessment on the event due to a number of factors it was considered that the midweek event would be better staged on a weekend and therefore it has been decided to postpone until 2019 and then celebrate 121 years of mile races at Cooks Gardens," Sears said.

The events postponed are the Snell Mile Challenge, The Mile Down Under Gala Dinner and
the Sir Peter Snell International Track Meeting scheduled between the March dates.


"Taking into account the number of athletes not available this year, we believe next year will give more time to assemble better fields and promote this important event better."

Commonwealth Games commitments for many current New Zealand stars and the unavailability of some former champions at this late date had given the trust little option but to postpone.

"It is unfortunate that we will not see the current Olympic 1500m champion, Matthew
Centrowitz at Cooks Gardens this year, but the organisers will continue to work with his
management company to retain him for next year's event," Sears said.

All those who have purchase tickets will receive a full refund.

The guest speaker for the Mile Down Under Gala Dinner (scheduled for Tuesday, March 20), former 5000m record-holder David Moorcroft (UK), will still be in Whanganui and will address a function of invited guests at the Cooks Gardens Function Centre on that date at 5.30pm.