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 July 24 to August 9 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 July 23 to August 8, 2021.
"The new qualification period deadline is June 29, 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).
The IOC said that it aims to finalise the qualification systems "by mid-April" with details on specific events to follow when available.
"The priority remains to reflect, where possible, the allocation method/pathway of the original qualification systems for each sport. This principle encourages IFs to follow a like-for-like approach by replacing those lost opportunities that were allocating quota with the same number of events," it said.
Importantly, the IOC said that in case of sports that have age group-based limits, it is willing to extend the criteria in the case of those athletes who had qualified for the 2020 Olympics.
"The only exception will be if the IF establishes that the one-year relaxation of the upper age limit represents a safety and/or medical risk for athletes. Regarding the eligibility criteria for the lower age limit, if any, the IOC recognises the full authority of IFs to assess the eligibility of those athletes who are not eligible in July 2020 but meet the lower age limit in 2021," said the IOC.