Already-qualified athletes will keep spots at Tokyo 2021, confirms IOC

The IOC and Japanese organisers postponed the July 24-August 9 event earlier this week

File photo dated 29-09-2019 of Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates the gold medal in the 100 Metres Women's Final during day three of the IAAF World Championships at The Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar. PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday March 24, 2020. Having won 100m gold in Beijing and London, Fraser-Pryce had to settle for bronze in Rio as her younger team-mate Elaine Thompson took gold ahead of American Tori Bowie. But after taking time out to become a mother, Fraser-Pryce was right back at the top of her game at the World Championships in Doha last year as she won the 100m title and helped Jamaica to relay gold, becoming the oldest woman to win a 100m world title. Tokyo was to give her a chance at a third and surely final Olympic crown. See PA story SPORT Coronavirus Olympics Athletes. Photo credit should read Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday that all athletes who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic will keep their spots for the rearranged Games next year.

The IOC and Japanese organisers postponed the July 24-August 9 event earlier this week but confirmed that those among the 11,000 athletes set to compete in Tokyo who had already earned their spot would keep it.

The IOC also said that the amount of spots allocated for each sport at the Games would remain the same next year.

"The 57 per cent that are qualified do remain in place and the goal is to maintain the same athletes quotas across the different sports," an IOC official said.

The virus has wreaked havoc with sports schedules and forced the cancellation of many Olympic qualifiers across many sports. Athletes have also been restricted in their training due to measures taken to stop the spread.

Though a huge blow to Japan, which has invested $12 billion (Dh44bn) in the run-up to the Games, the decision to postpone was a relief to thousands of athletes fretting over training with the world heading into lockdown to fight a disease that has killed thousands of people.