The IOC announced on Friday morning that all athletes who earned a spot at the Tokyo 202(1) Games, will still have that spot when the Olympics run next year. The July 24 to August 9 event was postponed earlier this week, but the IOC confirmed that if you’re an athlete who earned a spot, you get to keep it. “The 57 per cent that are qualified do remain in place and the goal is to maintain the same athletes quotas across the different sports,” said an IOC official on Friday.
A good day for Canadian champions
Dayna Pidhoresky and Trevor Hofbauer are the only Canadian runners who had already earned their spot on the Olympic Marathon start line. Both runners satisfied Athletics Canada’s criteria last fall at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon where they won the Canadian Championships and ran under the Olympic standard (2:29:30 and 2:11:30).
This ruling means that the many international marathoners who’d secured their place will still have a spot in 2021. The Japanese, Kenyan and American marathons teams (among others) had already been named.
The rest of the team yet to be selected
While Pidhoresky and Hofbauer’s spots will be honoured, the rest of the track and field team won’t be named until much closer to the Games. The Canadian Olympic Track and Field Trials were set to take place in Montreal June 25-28, 2020. Those trials have been cancelled and a new date has not been selected.
The new Olympic start date
The IOC began conversations with the 33 sporting federations yesterday to select a date for the 2021 Games. So far, IOC president Thomas Bach has said that the governing body isn’t limiting the Games to summer dates, and that spring is also a possibility.
A spring Games would make qualification very difficult (and qualification barriers were one of the reasons for postponement in the first place). Athletes remain in limbo until the new date is announced, but for now, most are content knowing that the event won’t be happening in this calendar year.