Organisers forced to cancel Sunday's New York marathon in wake of Superstorm Sandy
Organisers have been forced to cancel Sunday's marathon in hurricane-hit New York.
Last Updated: 03/11/12 9:56am
Mayor Michael Bloomberg had called on the famous road race to go ahead in a bid to boost morale and raise money for the stricken city, almost a week after Sandy claimed more than 90 lives and left three million across the east coast without power.
But his plans to press ahead with the event were criticised by politicians in ravaged parts of the city, prompting Friday's U-turn.
Bloomberg said in a statement: "The marathon has been an integral part of New York City's life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch.
"While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division.
"We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it.
"We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event - even one as meaningful as this - to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
It is not yet known whether or not the race will be rescheduled for a later date.