FIG Announces Key Decisions Regarding Tokyo 2020 Postponement

IG Staff

Friday, April 10, 2020

On April 9, 2020 in an executive committee meeting, the FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) made some key decisions as a result of the one-year postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In regard to the Olympic qualifying process, the executive committee has decided that all remaining qualifying World Cup events and continental championships will be rescheduled and held once the pandemic has been contained and the nations’ government restrictions have been lifted. The FIG announced that it would continue working with the hosting national federations and the continental unions to find new dates for the events.

Regarding the last individual apparatus World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, which for safety reasons had to be cancelled by the government before the finals, the FIG has decided that the results of the qualification rounds must serve as the official final results of that event, and that the points and rankings must be awarded accordingly.

Many would question the FIG’s decision as most gymnasts and coaches have different approaches and strategies in a qualifying round of a competition versus an event final. Especially given the fact that none of the competitors knew that this decision would take place in the future. The Baku competition was the seventh of eight individual world cup events, which serve as a qualification to the Tokyo Olympics for individuals who have not yet qualified through the world championships in 2018 and 2019. The decision does not affect athletes that have already qualified for the Olympics.    

The executive committee also announced another controversial decision. Athletes who turn seniors in 2021 would be age-eligible to qualify to next year’s Olympic Games. The perception that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are held in 2021 gives rise to the argument that female athletes turning 16 in 2021 should not be allowed to compete in next year Olympics, as they would not have been age eligible. However, many of the first-year seniors in 2021 could be some of the top athletes in domestic and international competitions next year. With their inclusion, several of the teams could be much more competitive than expected.

In addition, FIG announced that 2017-2020 Code of Points is extended to 2017-2021. The new 2021-2024 Code of Points would come into effect on January 1, 2022. The 2021 World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark remains on schedule as planned.

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