World Athletics has announced that the qualification period for the Tokyo Olympic Games will be suspended from April 6 to November 30, 2020.
“Athletes who have already met the entry standard 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,” World Athletics said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The end of the Olympic qualification periods are 31 May 2021 (for 50km race walk and marathon) and 29 June 2021 for all other events.”
Commenting on the decision, 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 and is the best way to address fairness.”
World Athletics also announced a temporary furlough, effective on Tuesday, for 50 per cent of its headquarter staff. All staff will continue to receive their full salary.
The strict self-isolation regulations in Monaco and France, where the majority of World Athletics’ headquarter staff are based, forced the organization to make this decision. The Monaco government will contribute 70 per cent of salaries to staff on furlough and World Athletics will pay the remainder.
“This decision, made possible by the Monaco Government, means we will focus only on business-critical activities for the short term which will help us manage our cash flow effectively and protect jobs in the long term,” Coe said.