Pandemic shakes up Olympic gymnastics qualification

The United States, Russia and China have each been given an extra entry to the Olympic women’s gymnastics competition in Tokyo after the coronavirus pandemic forced a shake-up in qualifying

Those events were supposed to offer countries one extra spot for the postponed Tokyo Games, helping the top nations to compensate after Olympic teams were reduced in size from five athletes to four.

Of the four planned all-around World Cup events, only one has taken place, in Milwaukee last year. Events in Germany and Britain were canceled, leaving the series below the minimum number of three events required to be a valid Olympic qualifier.

“Despite the organizers’ best efforts, the reinforcement of entry bans in Europe in recent weeks has drastically reduced the ability of foreign athletes to take part in events in the continent,” FIG said in a statement.

Despite that setback, FIG said it will proceed with plans to offer Olympic spots through other World Cup events focusing on the individual apparatus events and through continental championships.

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