The rowing world was hoping for some concrete guidelines toward understanding qualification and selection for the Tokyo Games from IOC via FISA, but both organizations put out communiques that appear to indicate it will be early April before final decisions about qualification will be made.
The IOC and all member organizations and federations were in discussions over the past few days toward addressing the myriad and complex issues created by the global spread of COVD-19, and were expecte
With respect to the Games themselves, the IOC indicated that the Games are intended to go on as planned, stating that "The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive. The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can."
The IOC stated that they will address the disrupted qualification system by early April: "Any necessary revisions to the Tokyo 2020 qualification systems by sport will be published by the beginning of April 2020 and communicated to all stakeholders."
See the full IOC communique here.
FISA's statement followed the IOC's lead, noting that FISA will be communicating with NGB's and hopes to have in place changes to the Olympic qualification system by early April, and changes to the Paralympic Games qualification system by April 5.
The full FISA release follows:
Further to the recent updates from FISA, below is the latest update on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on World Rowing events and activity in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Today FISA participated in a conference call held by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with all summer sport International Federations (IFs). The IOC and the IFs agreed on this communication updating on the status of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, including qualification systems. The full communication from the IOC can be found here: https://www.olympic.org/news/communique-from-the-international-olympic-committee-ioc-regarding-the-olympic-games-tokyo-2020.
In particular reference to qualification for the Olympic Games, FISA recognises the IOCs duty to take a coordinated approach in addressing the modifications to the qualification systems of all sports caused by event cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The importance of giving as much certainty to our athletes and the rowing community as soon as possible is a high priority. FISA has been in daily contact with the IOC and aims to finalise changes to the qualification system with the IOC as soon as possible ahead of the planned IOC deadline of early April. The next communication will be posted as soon as agreement is reached with the IOC Executive Board.
In regard to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, solutions are still being sought to possibly reschedule one or more of the Paralympic qualification opportunities which have been cancelled. It is FISA's aim to confirm any possible decisions by Sunday 5 April 2020. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is also taking a coordinated approach in revising qualification systems impacted by the pandemic. FISA is in close contact with the IPC regarding the qualification system and the athlete eligibility criteria, including classification, as outlined in the current 2020 Paralympic Games Rowing Qualification Guide. FISA aims to have an update on athlete eligibility criteria, including classification, on Sunday 5 April 2020.
All athletes, Member Federations and the rowing community in general should follow their respective National Health authorities' recommendations and guidance in regard to rowing activity, training and events. Guidance from the FISA Sports Medicine Commission is available online, here: http://www.worldrowing.com/mm//Document/General/General/14/20/44/RecommendationsfromtheFISASportsMedicineCommissionCoronavirus270220F_Neutral.pdf