The World Archery on Thursday decided not to hold any Olympic qualifying event this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and also freezed the world rankings. The world body also extended the suspension of all international competitions till the end of August. It, however, is hoping to start competitions (not Olympic qualifiers) before the end of the year. Also Read - Olympics May be Cancelled if The Covid Situation Worsens : Japanese Official
Accordingly, a draft calendar for the last few months of the year has been prepared. “No further Olympic qualification events will take place in 2020. They will be scheduled in 2021. The world rankings will remain frozen,” the WA said in a statement. Also Read - Hockey: Manpreet, Rani Optimistic About India's Chances in Tokyo Olympics
The suspension of international competition was up to April 30 initially but it was extended to June 30 later, before Thursday decision to implement it till August 31. Also Read - Tokyo Marks 100 Days to go Until Olympics Amid Covid Spike
“World Archery’s executive board has extended the hiatus on all international competition until 31 August 2020. The measure was introduced in March and subsequently extended due to the ongoing worldwide outbreak of COVID-19,” the WA said in a statement.
“At this stage, no international events are confirmed for the rest of 2020. A draft calendar for the last few months of the year has been scheduled in the hope restrictions are lifted and the situation is safe for archers to return to the competition field,” it added.
The world body said no new event will be announced with less than two months notice.
However, WA said it will give recognition of national events beginning from July 1. This means if held under appropriate local health standards, competitions after this date could be used to claim world records and performance awards, and shoot minimum qualification scores for major events.
The executive board, which met via conference call on Thursday, also approved an updated qualification calendar for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, implementing the modified system issued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
This was necessary due to the delay of the Tokyo Games until 2021 and cancellation of multiple qualifying tournaments.
During the meeting, the board approved new versions of the budget, taking into account uncertainty in operations for the remainder of the year, and confirmed that World Archery Congress in 2021 will be held alongside the World Archery Championships in Yankton.
World Archery has launched several new projects during this period.
The first remote international archery tournament, the Lockdown Knockout, starts for compound archers on May 1 with live streaming from May 9. Four day-long summer summits for archers, coaches, judges and tournament organisers have also been announced.
World Archery president Ugur Erdener said: “These challenging times call for innovative thinking as we create new ways to engage and inspire our community. Our focus remains on supporting efforts to beat this pandemic while, as a sport, we prepare for what comes next.”