The BOA and UK Sport are in the early stages of discussing a major change to Olympic qualification which could mirror the US trials model
The British Olympic Association (BOA) and UK Sport have confirmed that they are in a nascent stage of discussions surrounding the creation of an Olympic trials event to rival those in the US.
The Times reported on Tuesday (March 22) that the BOA is planning a multi-sport Olympic trials event with a view of implementing it in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The report also suggested that UK Athletics (UKA) had offered “cautious approval” to the plan, but the newspaper highlighted the potential for issues in terms of clashing sponsorship agreements between the BOA and UKA.
It is understood that a “first-past-the-post” system, such as that seen in the US, is not a major part of current plans.
“There is a shared belief that Olympic trials events, such as those seen in the US, have the potential to be successful in the UK, helping to sustain the profile and public interest in Olympic sport,” read a joint BOA and UK Sport statement.
“However, discussions about feasibility in Britain are still in their very early stages and are being done in close collaboration with sports’ national governing bodies and UK Sport where the overriding focus will be to complement athletes’ preparations for the Games.”
UKA is yet to respond to a request for comment in response to the plans.