Road To The Olympic Games

Track and Field

World Athletics suspends Tokyo Olympics qualifying through November

World Athletics says it has suspended Olympic qualification because of the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021.

Track and field body says decision gives athletes equal chance to meet standards

World Athletics has suspended Tokyo Olympic qualifying through November, meaning Vancouver resident Natasha Wodak will have to try to meet the standard in the women's 10,000 metres between Dec. 1 and June 29. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/File)

World Athletics says it has suspended Olympic qualification because of the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021.

The governing body of track says no performances between April 5 and Nov. 30 will count toward Olympic qualification even if an athlete meets the standards.

The new period will run from Dec. 1 through to either May 31 or June 29.

World Athletics made the decision because it fears competitions will resume much earlier in some parts of the world than others and that will leave some athletes with more opportunities to qualify than others.

Athletes who have already qualified will keep their places.

World Athletics also says it is placing 50 per cent of the staff at its Monaco headquarters on furlough. They will receive full pay under a Monaco government scheme.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says the body "will focus only on business critical activities for the short term which will help us manage our cashflow effectively and protect jobs in the long term."

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