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World Athletics to suspend Tokyo Olympic qualification period until December

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-04-09 10:55
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Countdown clocks for the opening of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games that are currently covered with banners that read 'Adjusting' are seen after postponing Games due to the outbreak of COVID 19, in Tokyo, Japan, March 25, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - World Athletics announced on Tuesday that the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be suspended from April 6 to November 30, 2020.

"The qualification period will resume on December 1, 2020 and continue to the new qualification deadline in 2021 set by the International Olympic Committee. Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified. The end of the Olympic qualification periods are May 31, 2021 (for 50km race walk and marathon) and June 29, 2021 for all other events," World Athletics said in the statement published on their website.

Commenting on the decision, 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."

World Athletics also announced a temporary furlough, effective on Tuesday, for 50% of its headquarter staff. All staff will continue to receive their full salary.

The strict self-isolation regulations in Monaco and France, where the majority of World Athletics' headquarter staff are based, forced the organization to make this decision. The Monaco government will contribute 70% of salaries to staff on furlough and World Athletics will pay the remainder.

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