Our first post covers the biggest Sports event in 2020 – Olympic Games. Today we explain how Olympic qualification works. Read on to know how does an athlete get to become a part of Olympics…
Tokyo Olympic Games will feature 339 events across 33 different Sports. Tokyo Games will take place from 24th July to 9th August. Limited entries are available in each Sport and hence athletes have to qualify for the Olympics.
The governing body of each sport decides the rules and regulation which will be used for qualifying for the Olympics. If we are to summarize, there are basically 4 qualification pathways.
a) Qualification Tournaments – Most sports use this qualification pathway for Olympics. A certain number of quotas are provided in continental championships, world championships or qualifying events. Countries finishing in the quota places are then guaranteed a spot in Olympics.
b) World Rankings – Sports where world rankings are standardized tend to use this qualification pathway. Individual sports like Badminton and tennis generally use this as a qualification pathway. Top players as per world ranking get a quota for the Olympics.
c) Qualification Standards – Athletics and Swimming use qualification standards as a means to give quotas. For example, the qualification standard for 3000 m Steeplechase is 8 minutes and 22 seconds. To qualify, you have to run under this time. The governing body of the Sport defines qualification standard for each event and a time period during which standard can be met by athletes to qualify.
d) Tripartite Invitation – The Olympic Games are based on representation of maximum people. Hence, to ensure all continents and maximum countries participate in Olympics in all Sports, tripartite invitation is used. Through this qualification pathway, the governing body of Sports hands out quotas to countries/continents that do not have adequate representation.
An important point to note: In most sports, quotas are given to countries. Then sports governing bodies of respective countries decide which athletes go to Olympics in place of those quotas.
Here is a brief snapshot of qualification pathways for different Sports: