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World Athletics suspends Olympic qualification

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 7/04/2020
Sebastian Coe wearing a suit and tie © Photosport

World Athletics has suspended Olympic qualification until December due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced the Tokyo Games to be postponed until 2021.

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

"During this period, results achieved at any competition will not be considered for Tokyo 2020 entry standards or world rankings," said World Athletics in a statement.

Qualification would restart on December 1 and continue until the end of May or June next year, depending on the event, it added.

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 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 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."

World Athletics also said that half of the staff at its Monaco headquarters would be furloughed on full pay.

-World Athletics

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