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IAAF Announces New Qualifying System for Tokyo 2020

Today the IAAF Council met in Doha and announced the qualification system for track & field at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The big change from previous years is that the IAAF will be using its new World Ranking System as part of the qualifying criteria.

As in the past, athletes can still qualify by hitting an entry standard. But those standards are much stiffer across the board as compared to 2016. In the men’s distance events, for example, the times dropped from 3:36.20 to 3:35.00 in the 1500, from 8:30:00 to 8:22:00 in the steeplechase, from 13:25.00 to 13:13.50 in the 5000, from 28:00.00 to 27:28:00 in the 10,000, and from 2:19:00 to 2:11:30 in the marathon for 2020.

For the women, the 1500 standard has gone from 4:07.00 to 4:04.20, the steeplechase standard has gone from 9:45:00 to 9:30:00, the 5000 standard has gone from 15:24.00 to 15:10.00, the 10,000 standard has gone from 32:15 to 31:25, and the marathon standard has gone from 2:45:00 to 2:29:30.

The reason for these tougher standards is the IAAF’s desire to make use of its World Ranking System which in theory encourages athletes to compete head to head in important meets, which is something we’re behind. Essentially, the World Ranking System will take the place of the world descending order list that was used to fill fields in the past at the Olympics and World Championships.

The IAAF will accept all athletes who achieve the entry standard and fill the rest of the field based on where an athlete ranks in the World Ranking System as of July 1, 2020; if the athlete does not accept the place, the IAAF will continue down the rankings until the field is full in each event.

The qualification window for each event is as follows:

For the marathon and 50k race walk, the qualification period runs from January 1, 2019, to May 31, 2020

For the 10,000, 20k race walk, and combined events, the qualification period runs from January 1, 2019, to June 29, 2020.

For all other events, the qualification period runs from May 1, 2019, to June 29, 2020.

In addition, the top 10 finishers in the marathon at the 2019 World Championships will be considered to have achieved the standard, as will top-5 finishers at IAAF Gold Label Marathons and top-10 finishers at Abbott World Marathon Majors held during the qualification period.

(03/11/2019) ⚡AMP
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