IFSC Prepares for the Cancellation of Continental Championships
The IFSC has announced that the remaining Olympic quotas will be determined by the 2019 Hachioji World Cup Championships if the Continental Championships cannot be heldPhoto by: Jan Vert of Tjaša Kalan in Briançon
With the second wave of Coronavirus cases underway, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has had to address the future’s competitive uncertainties.
So far 32 climbers have qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. This event was originally meant to take place in August of 2020, but was rescheduled due to the pandemic. There have been numerous competitions to fill the 40 total spots available to climbers that wish to qualify for the games.
These 40 spots are divided equally between male and female categories. Though the majority of the available spots have been filled, there remain eight spots for those athletes who have yet to qualify. These spots were originally intended to be filled through the Continental Championships.
The Continental Championships had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic. The Pan-American Championships was the only example of these five competitions that took place. The remaining championships were scheduled for the fall and winter of 2020. The European Championships were set to take place Oct. 1 to 8.
The Asian and African Championships are scheduled for Dec. 10 to 13, 2020 while the Oceanian Championships are scheduled for December 19-20, 2020. It appears that these competitions might not occur in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic.
On Oct. 2, 2020, the IFSC Executive Board held a meeting to determine how to fill the remaining spots in the roster if the final four Continental Championships are cancelled. In order to fill these vacancies, the IFSC ruled that the 2019 Hachioji Combined World Cup Results will make up those eight remaining spots.
According to their publication released on October 3, the IFSC decided on the following:
- The Qualification System calendar approved by the IOC in April 2020 shall not be modified
- In the occurrence that the continental qualifying events, as per the Qualification System approved by the IOC in April 2020, cannot be held before the end of 2020, the remaining quotas shall be reallocated through the ranking of the 2019 IFSC Climbing World Championships held in Hachioji (JPN)
- Continental councils and Event Organisers will put in place all necessary measures and protocols to guarantee the health and safety of all the athletes, delegations, officials and parties involved; for this reason, each Continental Council shall schedule a teleconference with their member federations to explain all the procedures and regulations that will be put in place
- The IFSC will keep in close contact with the Event Organisers and the local authorities to ensure that the host country does not impose travel and access restrictions preventing the participation of any delegation
The above describes an increasingly likely reality: the competitive calendar will not be modified, and the following athletes will fill the remaining quota spots should the Continental Championships not take place.
Chaehyun Seo – KOR
Ievgeniia Kazbekova – UKR
Di Niu – CHN
Elena Krasovskaia – RUS
Jongwon Chon – KOR
Jernej Kruder – SLO
Hanwool Kim – KOR
Jan Kríž – CZE
These athletes are the highest ranking athletes from the countries that have not already filled their quotas. They are the highest ranking athletes among those who had not previously qualified.
For athletes hoping to qualify in competition, this news is disappointing. It is necessary, however, in order to ensure that there will be a complete roster for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.