Simon Hart MP has shown his disappointment after the decision was made by Ironman Wales to cancel the Ironman event, postponing it until September 2022.

Simon Hart said: “Perhaps it’s because my son will have now trained for two cancelled Ironman events that I’m especially disappointed that the council - independently of Welsh Government - has decided not to proceed with this year’s event.

"None of us can predict where Covid might be by September and we have all learnt that with this disease it is full of unwelcome surprises and we can ‘never say never.’ But we have to try and make decisions based on what we know, rather than trying to second guess hypothetical future scenarios.

"So it’s quite clear that everyone who met on Friday to take this decision knew that social distancing rules are to be dropped in August and large scale outdoor events will be permitted – for example Wales’ GreenMan festival got the go ahead last week as have a range of significant outdoor events.

"We also know that by then another large tranche of our population will have had their second jabs, with people heading back to work and restoring some order to our economy.

"So I’m not sure what level of 'safety' the council seeks that can’t be managed by the middle of September? If it’s not safe to proceed after Welsh Government’s recent comments, then Pembrokeshire County Council should have pulled the plug weeks ago, allowing athletes and businesses to plan accordingly. It now looks like they were waiting for Welsh Government to make the call and take the rap.

"It could be a simple, and understandable, case of the council officers who made this decision being fearful that hosting a large event ‘could’ result in blame were there to be an outbreak of Covid directly linked with it (this hasn’t been the case in the two test athletic events already hosted in Pembrokeshire this summer).

"And anybody who visited Tenby this weekend will have found it rammed full of visitors. Ironman won’t add to those numbers in September, it will just replace them in what will by then be the off season. In other words, the risk will be no greater then than it is now.

"The problem is that these reasons will look to some like confected concerns created in order to avoid making a difficult decision. Zero-risk is an unachievable ambition, so we need to manage it sensibly, and include in that the area’s economic well being.

"As we know, compared to being inside, outdoor events carry a much reduced risk of infection. The crowds are in fresh air and well-spaced out, and the 'rules of engagement' around Covid well-rehearsed, especially amongst athletes who are hyper attuned to their own health and that of their families and supporters.

"And let's not forget - Ironman generates nearly £4million for our local economy, a boost needed more this year than ever. Not only that but it extends our season and promotes 'brand Pembrokeshire' nationally and internationally. We all have to make judgments and I’m well aware how tricky it is to get these judgment calls right every time, especially where public health is concerned. But on this one occasion I think it is the wrong call.”