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It appears that World Athletics President Sebastian Coe can’t please everyone with the decision to delay the qualification window for athletes wanting to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (2021). The reaction has been mixed among the athletes.
Speaking to the Southern Star newspaper in West Cork, Irish sprinter Phil Healy agreed with the World Athletics decision to delay the qualification window for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“After we got the official word that the Olympics were being postponed, the next question was how would they address the qualification process. They’ve come up with a fair option where nothing counts from April until December,” she said.
She feels that the current qualifying process creates an even playing field.
“It gives no athlete an advantage over another.”
There are many athletes who feel that the qualification window should be reviewed and that it is currently not fair.
American middle-distance runner Aisha Praught Leer doesn’t like it. Fellow American Emma Coburn has also been outspoken.
I’m a middle-distance runner and I don’t like this: a thread. https://t.co/WT8v55T43G
— Aisha Praught Leer (@aishapraught) April 8, 2020
However, Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee feels that it seems fair.
This seems sensible and fair. I’ve been very impresssed with WA’s leadership the last few months. https://t.co/XVXWqiRVdV
— Evan Dunfee (@EvanDunfee) April 7, 2020
Irish middle-distance athlete Ciarán ó Lionáird also agrees.
The World Athletics decision on closing qualifying until December 1 makes a lot of sense when you dig into the statement. Different countries will have different ease in lockdown. Until all are able to race again and get times, none should!!!
— Ciarán ó Lionáird (@GoCiaran) April 7, 2020
As Lionáird points out, not all athletes around the world will have the same training opportunities during the spring and summer. And if and when the competition schedule opens up, some athletes may not be as ready as they would need to be, to attempt to qualify for Tokyo.
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