Athletes who’ve qualified for 2020 Olympics are in for 2021

Coronavirus

Two women take a selfie with the Olympic rings in the background in the Odaiba section of Tokyo, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike spoke Thursday after the World Health Organization labeled the spreading virus a “pandemic,” a decision almost certain to affect the Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO (AP) — Good news for all those who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics: You’re in for 2021.

Olympic officials have confirmed that the 6,200 or so athletes who had already punched their ticket for Tokyo will keep their spots for the rescheduled games next year.

The decision, agreed to by all the international sports organizations, resolves one of the key questions for marathoners, open-water swimmers and hundreds of other athletes whose qualifying process came early in the 2020 sports calendar, before the coronavirus started shutting down sports across the globe.

Still to be determined is how the 33 sports that make up the Olympics will allocate the rest of the spots at the rescheduled games. Typically, the individual sports determine their qualifying procedures for Olympic events.

World Athletics president Seb Coe confirmed that all sports have agreed to the IOC’s proposal that all athletes currently qualified for the Olympics will remain qualified for next year.

In track, he said that accounts for about half the places. He said the important next step is to develop a fair process for the rest of the athletes, most of whom have seen their qualifying events postponed.

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