No competitions, no tokyo tickets?

No competitions, no tokyo tickets?

Last-minute tickets? Hard case rules? Olympic exceptions? Just under half of all athletes who want to travel to tokyo for the still-planned games haven’t even qualified yet.

As well as when sport is almost at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic. Uncertainty everywhere, also in germany. Athletes and their coaches have to adjust training schedules, sometimes not even knowing when a qualifying competition will take place.

Thereby it says under point 7 at the end of the respective sports to the criteria for the olympic qualification: "the official nomination by the DOSB board will take place in the nomination period end of may to beginning of july 2020. The exact nomination dates will be announced in due time."

Even IOC president thomas bach admits to "serious problems" with the qualifying competitions. "We will be very flexible and, if necessary, change the qualification criteria," said the 66-year-old youngster to ARD. Because the international olympic committee and host japan still want to hold the games from 24. July to 9. August as planned.

According to bach, 55 percent are qualified for sports, 45 percent are not. And it is not foreseeable when, for example, swimmers, rowers, wrestlers or track and field athletes will be able to compete again in germany or internationally. Or the handball players. In berlin had from 17. Until 19. The german handball team wanted to secure a ticket for tokyo in front of a home crowd against sweden, slovenia and algeria after failing at the world championships. Twelve teams are to play for olympic medals in japan, just half have qualified.

DOSB president alfons hormann, however, does not see too much difficulty in the still outstanding qualifications. "It’s a problem that i think is easily solvable," he told the german press agency. The 59-year-old explained: "the nomination criteria for the germany team can be flexibly adjusted accordingly if qualifying competitions do not take place on a full scale."In addition, the IOC will also react to this by adjusting qualifications. "That is certainly the least of our concerns at the moment," hormann said.

The german swimming federation, for example, is thinking about organizing "a smaller competition with a maximum of 50 participants" so that everyone could get out of each other’s way in the hall, national coach bernd berkhahn told the newspaper "magdeburger volksstimme": "however, this would also have to be approved by the health authorities."

Berkhahn and SC magdeburg swimmers broke off a high training camp in sierra nevada over the weekend. "Anyone who misses two or three weeks of training now also has less chance of a top place at the summer games," emphasized berkhahn.

It’s no different in other sports. Changing qualification standards are one thing, but top performances in precisely planned training weeks leading up to competitions are quite another. "Motivation and morale have completely broken down for me, i haven’t been able to train at all in the past four or five days," said christopher linke of SC potsdam, fourth in the world championships in the 20-kilometer walk.

He made the tokyo quali. But he lacks the competitions to optimize his performance and motivation. "I don’t go to training because i enjoy it so much, but because i know that it is part of a top performance. Now I don’t know what to train for anymore," he reported from the training camp in potchefstroom, sud africa.

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