IOC announces new deadline for Olympic qualification period

The IOC said that it aims to finalise the qualification systems “by mid-April” with details on specific events to follow when available.

A senior Olympics official has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces “real problems”, with even a vaccine unlikely to stave off the threat of the coronavirus.

The IOC said that it aims to finalise the qualification systems “by mid-April” with details on specific events to follow when available.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The International Olympic Committee has revised its qualification deadline for the Tokyo Games to June 29, 2021.

The 2020 Olympics, postponed by a year due to COVID-19 pandemic, has forced the IOC and International Federations to rework their qualification and tournament calendar.

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While some of the events, like hockey, have already completed their qualification processes and would not be affected, several, including badminton and track& field were yet to complete the same.

In a communique to National Olympic Associations, the IOC has now confirmed the new dates. “The new qualification period deadline is 29 June 2021, and IFs can define their own qualification period deadlines, should the deadline be prior to this date. The revised final sport entries deadline has now been set for 5 July 2021,” it said.

The IOC also reiterated its efforts to revise an overall final qualification system at the earliest, even as soon as mid-April, but admitted that specifics would only come later.

“We understand that at this time these are unlikely to include the full details on the dates and locations of the specified events, recognising that these will follow later as the impacts of COVID-19 and its related restrictions become clearer.

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"We aim to finalise the adapted qualification systems by mid-April, with the details on specific events to follow when available. The priority remains to reflect, where possible, the allocation method/pathway of the original qualification systems for each sport,” it added.

The IOC, while allowing International Federations the discretion to tweak their rankings system accordingly, sought to ensure sport-specific balance between protecting those close to qualifying in 2020 and giving the top performers of 2021 a chance to qualify.

It also authorised international federations to decide on the age-eligibility of athletes who may not make the cut in 2020 but do so in 2021. While there is no upper age limit, sports like gymnastics (16 years), football (under-23) and boxing (17) will have a minimum age limit.

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