Already-qualified athletes will keep spots at postponed Tokyo Games
International Olympic Committee made announcement on Friday
All athletes who had qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will keep their spots for the Games next year following their postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.
The IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the July 24-Aug 9 event earlier this week but confirmed that those among the 11,000 athletes set to compete in Tokyo who had already earned their spot would keep it.
The IOC also said that the amount of spots allocated for each sport at the Games would remain the same next year.
"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 said.
WATCH | Canadian athletes respond to Olympic postponement:
Canadian field hockey player Mark Pearson, who sits on the Canadian Olympic Committee's athletes commission, "felt bad" in recent weeks for the athletes in limbo who had yet to secure a spot at the Olympics.
"For those waiting [for qualifying events], it might be next month, two months or between now and the [rescheduled] Games," Pearson, who gained a berth for Tokyo with the national men's team in October, told CBC Sports. "You're trying to peak and stay sharp and fit [and the wait for a possible postponement] was getting to be crazy."
The virus has wreaked havoc with sports schedules and forced the cancellation of many Olympic qualifiers across many sports. Athletes have also been restricted in their training due to measures taken to stop the spread.
Though a huge blow to Japan, which has invested $12 billion US in the run-up to the Games, the decision to postpone was a relief to thousands of athletes fretting over training with the world heading into lockdown to fight a disease that has killed thousands of people.
With files for CBC Sports