Summer Sports

Olympic qualifying events to resume as Tokyo Games draw ever closer

With Olympics officials reiterating their commitment to holding the Tokyo Games this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, several sports will soon resume qualifying for athletes with less than six months to go.

61 per cent of quota places already allocated, remainder determined by June 29

Canada's Michael Mason is seen above at the 2019 world championships. Track and field athletes have until June 29 to secure qualification through World Athletics' rankings pathway. (Anndrej Isakovic/Getty Images)

With Olympics officials reiterating their commitment to holding the Tokyo Games this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, several sports will soon resume qualifying for athletes with less than six months to go.

The pandemic decimated Olympic qualifying across sporting disciplines last year, with numerous competitions postponed or canceled before the Games itself was pushed back a year.

As things stand, 61 per cent of athlete quota places have already been allocated to National Olympic Committees for the July 23-Aug. 8 Games, with another 25 per cent to be determined by June 29.

The remaining 14 per cent, in sports including swimming, tennis, badminton and golf, will be decided according to their respective ranking systems, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said last week.

WATCH | Organizers release preliminary guidelines for Tokyo Games:

The IOC released their Olympic Playbook: What does that mean?

8 months ago
1:37
With less than six months to go to the Tokyo Olympics, organizers have said the Games will go on no matter what. Now, they've released some preliminary guidelines explaining how that will happen. 1:37

Olympic officials unveiled their first Games guidelines on Wednesday, including mandatory mask-wearing, a ban on chants during events and another on the use of public transport.

So far, only five Olympic disciplines have completed the qualification process for Tokyo — road and track cycling, equestrian, hockey, volleyball and climbing.

Track and field athletes have until June 29 to secure qualification through World Athletics' rankings pathway, which will be based on the average of an athlete's top five results, with performances weighted according to the status of the meet.

The top 10 finishers in marathon events at the 2019 Doha world championships and each of the marathon majors held up to April 5, 2020, have already qualified for the Games.

Triathlon hopefuls, however, are in limbo because standings have been frozen since March. The World Triathlon Executive Board said on Friday that it would not restart qualifying until May 1, and would only take a final decision next month.

Modern pentathlon has had to contend with political unrest in Belarus apart from the pandemic, with world championship organizers forced to move the June 7-13 event to Cairo from Minsk due to safety concerns.

Wrestling hopes to hold qualifying events in Europe, Asia, and Africa and Oceania in March and April, as well as a world qualification tournament in May, while table tennis events will be held in Europe, Asia and Latin America in March and April.

In handball, the top two teams at tournaments in Norway, France and Germany from March 12-14 will complete the men's lineup, while the two best women's teams from events in Spain, Hungary and Montenegro (March 19-21) will also head to Tokyo.

The two-legged women's soccer qualifying playoff between China and South Korea - which will determine Asia's last entry - is now set for April after initially being scheduled for this month, marking the fourth time the tie has been postponed.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now