- World Athletics have announced today the suspension of the Tokyo Olympic qualifying system for the marathon and race walking events has been lifted.
- The original suspension period was from 6 April to 30 November 2020.
World Athletics have announced from 1 September, runners and race walkers will be able to participate in pre-identified, advertised and authorised races to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The lift of the suspension is due to concerns over the lack of qualifying opportunities available to athletes between the original date of 30 November and 31 May 2021, when the qualification period finishes.
Athletes can only run on World Athletics certified courses, with in-competition drug testing on site. If the rescheduled London Marathon does go ahead on 4 October, it would now be an opportunity for a runner to register an Olympic qualifying time.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said, ‘Most of the major marathons have already been cancelled or postponed for the remainder of this year and the evolution of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict if those scheduled for the first half of next year will be able to go ahead. That situation, combined with the fact that endurance athletes in the marathon and race walks can only produce a very limited number of high-quality performances a year, would really narrow their qualifying window without this adjustment.
‘We have also been assured by the Athletics Integrity Unit that the anti-doping system is capable of protecting the integrity of road races during this period and will put in place strict testing criteria for all athletes.’
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