World Athletics spells out new 2021 Olympic qualifications routes

World Athletics spells out new 2021 Olympic qualifications routes

World Athletics (WA) has released the latest rules governing the 2021 Olympics qualifications.

This was the first business transacted by the Lausanne-headquartered organization when opened its doors for the first time this week, after an 11-week closure following the outbreak of the Covid-19.

The qualification principles remain unchanged and it will be done through entry standards (which also remain unchanged) and then world rankings, says the international athletics body.

With the new but relatively relaxed rules for marathon, for example, the top 10 finishers in the men and women’s marathons at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 will gain automatic ticket to Tokyo, Japan.

This will also apply to the top five finishers at the World Athletics Gold Label marathons and the top 10 finishers at the Marathon Major Series (Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York) held during the qualification period from January 1, 2019 to April 5, 2020.

The top 10 finishers at the Platinum Label marathons and the winners of the Gold Label marathons held during the period from December 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021 will also make the trip to Japan Summer Games that were postponed by a year due to the ongoing global health situation.

World Athletics, however,  did not elaborate on the fate of the defending champions whether they will gain automatic tickets to Japan.

For the relay teams, the top eight placed NOCs at the World Athletics Relays Silesia 2021, if not already qualified from Doha 2019, shall automatically qualify.

Athletes who have already met the entry standard since the start of the qualification period in 2019 remain qualified with other athletes to qualify within the extended qualification period.

But for suspended qualification period (for all events) from April 6 to November 30, 2020 will now see the senior athletes classified as those athletes born in 2001 or earlier instead of 2002.

A junior athlete (U20) will be any athlete born in 2002 or 2003 while youth(U18) are those athletes born in 2004 and 2005 and not 2005/6 whole those born in 2006 or later will be categorized as under 16.