Road To The Olympic Games

Artistic

Gymnastics Canada skipping last-chance Tokyo qualifier over COVID-19 concerns

Gymnastics Canada said on Friday they have decided not to enter teams in the Pan American Championships being held in Brazil. It's the last chance qualifier event for the Tokyo Olympics in men's artistic, women's artistic, and rhythmic gymnastics.

Rio event provides final path to Olympics in artistic, rhythmic disciplines

Canada had the chance to qualify one more athlete in men's and women's artistic, respectively, and one individual and one group in rhythmic gymnastics at the competition. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images)

Gymnastics Canada will not send a team to a last-chance Tokyo Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns.

The organization announced Friday it will not send athletes to the 2021 Senior Pan American Championships in Rio de Janeiro from June 4-13.

The event was Canada's last chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in men's artistic, women's artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.

Canada had the opportunity to qualify one more athlete in men's and women's artistic, respectively, and one individual and one group in rhythmic gymnastics at the competition.

Gymastics Canada told CBC Sports that official teams had been named in both artistic competitions, with some of those athletes among those appealing the federation's decision in court. However, the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada ruled in Gymnastics Canada's favour.

While no rhythmic athletes were officially named, 21-year-old Katherine Uchida, who had not yet qualified for Tokyo, was likely to compete in Brazil.

Now, the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist in the all-around appears to be out of pathways to reach her first Olympics.

The event also is a qualifier for trampoline, but there will be another qualification event in that discipline in Italy at a World Cup.

Canada also announced it will not send a team to the 2021 Junior Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico.

"In this pandemic environment, an additional layer of concern is required when travelling internationally to competitions," Ian Moss, CEO for Gymnastics Canada, said in a statement.

"Gymnastics Canada has a very detailed risk assessment protocol that is followed for all international events and, for these competitions, it was felt that the risk to the health and safety of all travelling personnel was too high at this time to consider competing."

With files from CBC Sports

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