World Athletics pauses Olympic qualification period due to coronavirus

The Olympic qualification period has been halted, World Athletics has announced.

No standards between April 6 and November 30, 2020 will count towards reaching next year’s delayed Games in Tokyo.

Instead it will resume on December 1 until June 29, 2021 ahead of the rescheduled event, which was pushed back 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “I am grateful for the detailed work and feedback from our Athletes’ Commission and Council, who believe suspending Olympic qualification during this period gives more certainty for athlete planning and preparation,

“It is the best way to address fairness in what is expected to be the uneven delivery of competition opportunities across the globe for athletes, given the challenges of international travel and government border restrictions.”

Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified and eligible for selection.

World Athletics chairman Sebastian Coe has said the decision is a fair one
World Athletics chairman Sebastian Coe has said the decision is a fair one (PA)

The Olympics and Paralympics were both postponed last month.

The Olympic Games will now start on July 23, 2021 until August 8.

The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on August 25, will take place between August 24 and September 5, 2021.

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