The International Golf Federation (IGF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have extended the qualifying time for the Tokyo Olympic Games, to account for the one-year delay of the world sports extravaganza.
According to a press statement issued on Wednesday in Lausanne Switzerland, the International Golf Federation and International Olympic Committee announced an adjustment to the qualifying system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to accommodate the new dates of competition in 2021.
“In light of the one-year delay, athletes now will accumulate Olympic Golf Rankings (OGR) points through a period ending on June 21, 2021 for the men and June 28, 2021 for the women. The qualifying period began on July 1, 2018 and, prior to the postponement, was to have ended this June. The field for both men and women will consist of 60 players,’’ said the statement.
The OGR is based on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for men and the Women’s World Golf Rankings (WWGR).
In Africa, South Africa is expected to pick its team on the basis of the World Ranking.
Kenya did not attempt to qualify. Anthony Murage, Kenya Golf Union (KGU) chairman said qualification was discussed during the Africa Golf Confederation (AGC) meeting where ranking was an issue.
On March 20, the Governing Boards of the OWGR and WWGR determined the rankings would be suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
An announcement about the resumption of each respective ranking will be made in due course.
The IGF’s announcement of the revision followed the IOC’s decision to postpone the Olympic Games and its subsequent release of the revised principles for Olympic qualification on April 2 that included the relaxation of the maximum two-year period and amendments to the qualification deadlines.
The IGF revised the dates within the current qualification system to reflect these new dates and submitted the revised version to the IOC Qualification task force for approval.
“Having received from the IOC confirmation of the dates for when the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held and the qualification principles, the fairest and most equitable way to determine the qualifying athletes was to align the previous qualification system with these new dates,” said Antony Scanlon, IGF Executive Director.
“We are pleased that the IOC swiftly approved these changes to provide clarity on this important area. The IGF will continue to work closely with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 to address the other areas that the postponement of the Games affects our sport and our athletes, to develop the necessary plans to resolve these.
“We remain fully committed to providing safe and fair golf competitions and a memorable experience for our athletes when these Olympic Games are held in 2021.”
The OGR is calculated as follows: Each tournament earns a strength-of-field rating which determines how many ranking points will be awarded to top finishers. Points are awarded to players based on their finish positions in each event, with performances in stronger-field events earning more points in accordance with a points distribution table approved by the IGF.