Shattering of the Olympic gymnastics qualification after canceled events


LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – The US, Russia and China each received additional access to the Olympic women’s gymnastics competition in Tokyo on Wednesday after the coronavirus pandemic forced a shock in qualifying.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) said it would cancel its all-around World Cup series of events because of the pandemic.

These events were designed to give countries extra space for the postponed Tokyo Games and help top nations to compensate after the size of the Olympic teams was reduced from five to four athletes.

FIG goes back to the results of the 2019 World Cup to determine these locations. This means that the United States, Russia, and China will each have an additional female seat, and Russia, China and Japan will each have an additional male seat. All of these countries had already qualified a team of four for the men’s and women’s competitions.

Of the four planned all-round World Cup events, only one took place in Milwaukee last year. Events in Germany and the UK have been canceled so the series was below the minimum of three events required for valid Olympic qualification.

A world championship in Tokyo on May 4, which will serve as a test event at the Tokyo Olympic Games venue, has not yet been concluded. Simone Biles She is expected to attend her first meeting there since the worlds in October 2019.

“Despite the efforts of the organizers, the tightening of entry bans in Europe in recent weeks has dramatically reduced the ability of foreign athletes to participate in events on the continent,” FIG said in a statement.

Despite this setback, FIG said it has plans to offer Olympic spots through other World Cup events that focus on the individual Apparatus events and through continental championships.

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