SPORTS

Athletes Wait For Olympic Qualifiers

The Team Fiji women’s and men’s rugby 7s teams are the only ones that have booked their spots in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
03 Apr 2020 13:45
Athletes Wait For Olympic Qualifiers
Fiji and Pacific sprint king Banuve Tabakaucoro (left) is one of our athletes who are waiting for the Olympic Games qualifying events. Photo: Samoa Observer

The Team Fiji women’s and men’s rugby 7s teams are the only ones that have booked their spots in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

This was confirmed by Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive officer, Lorraine Mar,

However, there are other sporting associations who are still awaiting for Olympic qualification tournaments that were cancelled due to the global outbreak of coronavirus.

Mar said these cancellations of events had a great impact on Team Fiji as most of the athletes are yet to be qualified.

She said that about 47 percent of the athletes worldwide are still in the qualification process.

“The cancellations are on the qualifying tournaments like swimming and Oceania Archery that was going to be held here.

“FASANOC do not choose the athletes. The national federations will have their selection criteria on how they will select the best athlete to go to the Games.

“So from our side, we are waiting to hear from the International Olympic Committee and the international federations on the new plans they going to put in place for those people who are not qualified.”

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games confirmed to be held in July next year, this will give more time for athletes to prepare on their qualifying games.

However, the coronavirus pandemic is an enormous challenge for the sport since Government has laid restrictions to close all sporting facilities.

“There is a longer time for them to qualify but the downside is that most of the international federations have said that they will be not hold anymore qualification tournament.

“So that would mean our athletes will be taken on merit on rankings, it will be international rankings.”

SELECT ON MERIT

Patrick Bower, Team Fiji chef de mission says, athletes should do their best in their individual training if they want to qualify.

“Eventually, athletes will be selected on merit, but qualifiers will get into that level of qualification to get into the game so it does still depend on the qualifying edge.”

“We are here waiting, to be able to continue on that level and continue moving up, so that we will be able to qualify. The difficulty is with the facilities being closed”

Sports that are yet to qualify are swimming, archery, karate, judo, table tennis, and athletics.

“For swimming they got to decide who out of the eight are vying to take the position- a male and a female and for athletics we have one spot.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be from July 23 to August 8, next year.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper