Athletics : Olympic Qualifiers Postponed

The qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that will take place in 2021 has been temporarily suspended. According to a press release from the World Athletics, the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended from April 6, 2020 until November 30, 2020. That implies that any results recorded by athletes between April 6 and November 30 will not qualify them for the Olympic Games.  During that period performances will also not be considered for world ranking purposes. Results will continue to be recorded for statistical purposes, including for world records. 

The global governing body also confirmed that athletes who have already met the entry standards since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified and will be eligible for selection by their respective member federations and National Olympic Committees, together with the other athletes who will qualify within the extended qualification period.

Subject to the global situation returning to normal following the Coronavirus pandemic, the qualification period will resume on 1 December 2020 and will run until May 31, 2021, for 50km race marathon events and until June 29, 2021, for all other events. The total qualification period, which started in 2019, will be four months longer than it was originally.

The end of the Olympic qualification periods are May 31, 2021 for 50km race walk and marathon and June 29, 2021 for all other events. 

World Athletics’ decision to suspend the qualifying window was made both to protect the athletes’ safety during the coronavirus outbreak and to level the playing field for athletes, as some athletes may be unable to compete or train at the same level as others at this time. Last month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee announced that the Olympic Games, scheduled to run from July 24, 2020 to August 9, 2020 in Tokyo, and Paralympic Games, scheduled for August 25 to September 6, 2020 were postponed until 2021. The Games are now scheduled for July 23 through August 8, 2021 (Olympics) and August 24 through September 5, 2021 (Paralympics) in Tokyo. The U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials, originally planned for this June in Oregon, were also postponed to a currently undecided date.