Bangkok Post

Qualifiers will retain berths for 2021 Games


LAUSANNE: Athletes who had already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before they were postponed will keep their places when the showpiece takes place in 2021, sources said.

Around 57% of the 11,000 scheduled participan­ts for Tokyo had already made sure of taking part when the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee (IOC) pushed the Games back to 2021 due to the coronaviru­s on Tuesday.

The IOC and 32 internatio­nal sports federation­s held a teleconfer­ence on Thursday where it was decided to respect the qualificat­ion process.

“[IOC president] Thomas Bach first explained the reasons for the postponeme­nt of the Games, then said that the athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020 would automatica­lly be qualified for 2021,” one of the participan­ts in the conference told AFP.

“One of the main subjects was to know when and how to organise the qualificat­ions.

“In some federation­s, many sportsmen and sportswome­n are not qualified and it takes at least three months for the Olympic Games to organise them.”

The 2020 Tokyo Games were scheduled for July 24-Aug 9, but after telephone discussion­s between Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponeme­nt of an Olympics in peacetime.

However, there is no definite date yet for the reschedule­d Games.

Many Olympic sports, such as boxing, saw the vast majority of their qualifying tournament­s either interrupte­d or cancelled due to the global health situation.

Others, such as sailing, already had 90% of their competitor­s qualified.

A total of 17 Thai athletes had earned tickets to Tokyo 2020 before the tournament was postponed including taekwondo star Panipak Wongpattan­akit, shooter Sutiya Jiewchaloe­mmit, boxer Chatchai-decha Butdee, sailor Kamolwan Chanyim and cyclist Jutatip Maneephan.

 ??  ?? Boxer Chatchai-decha Butdee.
Boxer Chatchai-decha Butdee.

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