Global governing body announces amendments to qualification system for postponed Tokyo Games

World Athletics has released an updated Olympic qualifying system for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games.

In March it was announced that the Olympics would be moved back a year, to take place between July 23 and August 8, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympic qualification period was suspended from April 6 and World Athletics has confirmed that it will resume on December 1.

Qualification will still be through entry standards and then world rankings.

For the marathon and 50km race walk, the entry standards period and world rankings window will run until May 31, 2021

For all other events, the entry standards and world rankings period will end on June 29, 2021.

EventsEntry standards periodWorld rankings period
Marathon,
50km race walk
1 Jan 2019 – 5 April 2020

1 December 2020 – 31 May 2021

(21 months)
1 December 2018 – 5 April 2020

1 December 2020 – 31 May 2021

(22 months)
10,000m,
20km race walk,
combined events,
relays
1 Jan 2019 – 5 April 2020

1 December 2020 – 29 June 2021

(22 months)
1 Jan 2019 – 5 April 2020

1 December 2020 – 29 June 2021

(22 months)
All other events1 May 2019 – 5 April 2020

1 December 2020 – 29 June 2021

(18 months)
30 June 2019 – 5 April 2020

1 December 2020 – 29 June 2021

(16 months)

Athletes to have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified.

Automatic marathon qualifiers include the top 10 finishers in each of the men’s and women’s races at last year’s Doha World Championships, plus the top five finishers at the World Athletics Gold Label marathons and the top 10 finishers at the Marathon Major Series (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York) held during the qualification period from January 1, 2019, to April 5, 2020.

The top 10 finishers at the Platinum Label marathons and the winners of the Gold Label marathons held during the period from December 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, will also be automatic qualifiers.

In the relay events, the top eight-placed nations at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 2021, if not already qualified from Doha 2019, will automatically qualify for the Olympics.

The updated Olympic qualifying system document can be found here.

On Wednesday World Athletics also unveiled a new ‘strategic plan’ for the sport, following online meetings between the sport’s global governing body and its member federations as they “discussed the direction athletics will take over the next four years and the short-term challenges and opportunities the sport has as the world begins to emerge from lockdown”.

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