The 2026 Commonwealth Games has been plunged into doubt after the Australian state of Victoria’s decision to withdraw as host.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Victoria’s state premier Daniel Andrews cited escalating budget costs as the reason.
He said: “Last year when the Commonwealth Games authorities approached us and needed someone to step in to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, as a state we were happy to help out, but of course not at any price.
“I’ve made a lot of difficult decisions in this job, this is not one of them.”
Important shop window for triathlon
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has called the decision “hugely disappointing” and stressed that they are “committed to finding a solution”.
In a statement, they added: “We are disappointed that we were only given eight hours’ notice and that no consideration was given to discussing the situation to jointly find solutions.”
Triathlon has played a prominent part in recent Commonwealth Games, notably at Birmingham in the UK last year.
The sport had a perfect showcase thanks to handing out the first medals of the Games to some of triathlon’s biggest names after thrilling racing, England’s Alex Yee pipping New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde to the men’s individual gold in front of huge crowds.
Best attended Games so far
There was much more success for Team England too – they won the Mixed Team Relay while Dave Ellis and guide Luke Pollard took the men’s Paratriathlon title and Katie Crowhurst (with guide Jess Fullagar) landed the female version.
Birmingham itself was not the original host, only stepping in after the South African city of Durban was stripped of hosting rights.
But the Midlands venue was widely praised for its staging, which was the best attended Commonwealth Games on record.