Press Release10 Mar 2019

IAAF Council approves Olympic qualification system and entry standards


IAAF Vice President Dahlan Al Hamad, LOC President HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani and IAAF President Sebastian Coe at the IAAF Council Meeting in Doha (© LOC)

The IAAF Council has approved the qualification system and entry standards for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the timetables for three World Athletics Series events to be held in 2020, at its meeting in Doha today.

In the first session of the two-day meeting, HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani welcomed the IAAF Council to Doha, which will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships from September 27 to October 6 this year.

HE Sheikh Joaan, the president of the Local Organising Committee, emphasised his and the country's commitment to staging a world-class athletics championship in Doha later this year. He also reiterated the work the Doha 2019 Organising Committee is undertaking to put operational plans in place and prepare for the Asian Athletics Championships in April, which will be a test event for the World Championships

Olympic qualification and entry standards

Athletes will have more opportunities to achieve the Olympic entry standards under the new system, which extends the qualification window by two months for most events. This will start on 1 May 2019 (instead of 1 July 2019), to include more international competitions such as the IAAF Diamond League, and end on 29 June 2020.

The qualification period for the marathon and 50km race walk will close at the end of May 2020 (instead of 29 June), to give the qualified athletes more time to prepare specifically for the Games.

After extensive consultation with key stakeholders, the Council has decided to introduce a dual qualification system, combining both the entry standards and the new World Ranking System, to determine which athletes are eligible for Olympic selection in 2020.

Under this new qualification process, an athlete can qualify for the 2020 Olympics in one of two ways:

• Achieve the entry standard within the respective qualification period

• Qualify by virtue of his/her IAAF World Ranking position in the selected event at the end of the respective qualification period.

The process is designed to achieve about 50 percent of the target numbers for each event through entry standards and the remaining 50 percent through the IAAF world ranking system.

The IAAF consulted with the Competition, Athletes’ and Coaches’ Commissions prior to this decision and will continue working with the Athletes’ Commission, the Athletes Representatives (ARs) and the Member Federations (MFs) to ensure the qualification system is well understood. Workshops will be scheduled with athletes, ARs and MFs during this year.


The timetables were approved for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, and the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

IAAF World Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020
The Council approved the timetable as detailed in this PDF.

IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020
The Council approved the timetable as follows:

29 March 2020
12:00 Women’s race
12:45 Men’s race (mass race starting immediately after)

IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Minsk 2020
The Council approved the timetable as follows:

Saturday 2 May 2020
09:30 10km U20 women
10:40 10km U20 men
14:00 20km women
16:10 20km men 

Sunday 3 May 2020
09:00 50km men & women


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