The 46th Wuhan International Yangtze River Crossing Festival has been canceled, citing safety concerns as continuous heavy rainfall has swollen the river, the organizers announced Tuesday.
The central Chinese city of Wuhan raised its flood alert level last week after torrential rain battered swathes of the country, including the Yangtze River on which it sits. The water level in the Wuhan section stayed more than one meter above the warning point on Tuesday, just two days before the festival, making the municipal government approve its cancellation, according to the organizers. The swimming event is held on July 16 every year to commemorate the late Chairman Mao Zedong's famous swim across the river in 1966. Over 300 local swimmers were expected to take part in this year's competition, which many saw as an opportunity to demonstrate the city's recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic.