The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday that the new deadline for the qualification period for the postponed Tokyo Olympics has been set to June 29, 2021. It further stated that International Federations (IF) of each sport retain full discretion for defining their own respective deadlines and pathways.
The Olympics was originally scheduled to be held from 24 July to 9 August this year. However, the fallout from the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic led to the IOC eventually announcing that the Tokyo Games will now be held from 23 July to 8 August, 2021.
“The new qualification period deadline is 29 June, 2021 and IFs can define their own qualification period deadlines should the deadline be prior to this date,” said the IOC in a letter addressed to the National Olympic Committees (NOC).
Athletes already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will need to be picked again by their respective National Olympic Committees to compete at the postponed Games in 2021, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.
The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last week by agreeing to postpone the Games by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 57% of the 11,000 athletes had already qualified for the Tokyo Games this year before qualification tournaments were scrapped as the virus spread in recent months.
Those athletes, the IOC said, would keep their qualification but would need to be re-selected for next year by their National Olympic Committee again as they represented a nation and not themselves.
“All of the qualifications that have been achieved by National Olympic Committees and individual athletes remain in place,” IOC Sports director Kit McConnell said in a conference call.