TOKYO: All athletes who had certified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will preserve their spots for the Video games subsequent 12 months following their postponement because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Worldwide Olympic Committee mentioned on Friday.
The IOC and Japanese organisers postponed the July 24-August 9 occasion earlier this week however confirmed that these among the many 11,000 athletes set to compete in Tokyo who had already earned their spot would preserve it.
The IOC and 32 worldwide sports activities federations held a teleconference on Thursday the place it was determined to respect the qualification course of.
The IOC additionally mentioned that the quantity of spots allotted for every sport on the Video games would stay the identical subsequent 12 months.
“The 57 per cent that are qualified do remain in place and the goal is to maintain the same athletes quotas across the different sports,” an IOC official mentioned.
Many Olympic sports activities, resembling boxing, noticed the overwhelming majority of their qualifying tournaments both interrupted or cancelled because of the world well being scenario. Others, resembling crusing nevertheless, already had 90computer of their opponents certified. Athletes have additionally been restricted of their coaching because of measures taken to cease the unfold.
Although an enormous blow to Japan, which has invested $12 billion within the run-up to the Video games, the choice to postpone was a reduction to 1000’s of athletes fretting over coaching with the world heading into lockdown to combat a illness that has killed 1000’s of individuals.
The historic determination to delay the Video games because of the coronavirus pandemic gave Tokyo a variety of choices when rescheduling: the Video games shall be held “beyond 2020, but not later than summer 2021.”
This leaves open the opportunity of a spring Olympics when the climate in Tokyo is at its most interesting and removes at a stroke the concerns about athletes and followers struggling within the brutal warmth and humidity of Japan’s summer time.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike confirmed the postponement had opened up this tantalising possibility — that may additionally give her the chance of reclaiming the marathon which earlier than the postponement was shifted to the northern metropolis of Sapporo over warmth fears.
“Since we are in this situation, one idea is to have [the IOC] move the date to a time that is not hot,” she instructed reporters on Friday.
She later added with a smile: “I think Tokyo would be good to host the marathon if temperatures were less fierce.”
IOC chief Thomas Bach himself has mentioned rescheduling “is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table, before and including the summer of 2021”.
Japanese information company Kyodo quoted a supply saying that the IOC will set dates for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in about three weeks and it “may decide to hold the games in spring as requested by international sports federations to avoid the hottest weeks of the Tokyo summer”.
Printed in Daybreak, March 28th, 2020