In the coming months, the qualifying process will begin for the next Olympic Games which will take place in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August 2020. A total of 324 athlete places for the Gymnastics events will be up for grabs between this year and the spring of 2020. The FIG underlines the events not to be missed on the road to Tokyo and provides videos clarifying the qualifying process.
Artistic Gymnastics (Video)
Available places: 98 male gymnasts + 98 female gymnasts
The qualifying process underwent an in-depth review after the Rio Games. In theory, there are as many as seven gymnasts from any given country who can qualify for both the men’s and women’s competitions respectively. Yet the maximum is not seven but six in the case of those countries who earn a ticket for the team competition.
The size of the national teams has been reduced to four members, who can take part in both the team and individual events. In addition to these four team members, each country can earn up to two additional places for the individual competition only.
The first places will be awarded in Doha (QAT) at the 2018 World Championships (25 October-3 November), when the three medal-winning countries in the team competition will also pick up four tickets each to Tokyo.
The 2019 Worlds in Stuttgart (GER), from 4-13 October, are the next opportunities for hopefuls: at the end of the qualification competition, the nine remaining team places will be awarded along with 12 places for men and 20 for women, which will be decided by the rankings in the All-Around competition. Additionally, the three top gymnasts in each apparatus final in Stuttgart, excluding those from qualified teams, will also book their Olympic ticket.
The specialists will have another opportunity with the Apparatus World Cup series between November 2018 and March 2020. The four women’s and six men’s winners on each apparatus – a ranking decided by taking the best three results of each participant in the series – will be Tokyo-bound (on the condition that these gymnasts have not participated in the qualification of their team).
There will be the possibility of gaining extra individual places for the competing countries via the 2020 All-Around World Cup series – these will be available to the top three countries in this four-stage series running in March and April of that year.
The final qualifying opportunity will come at the continental championships in spring 2020 when there will be two individual places at stake for each of Africa, America, Europe and Asia and one place for Oceania.
Rhythmic Gymnastics (Video)
Available places: 26 individual gymnasts + 14 groups
For the groups, the serious business begins with the 2018 World Championships in Sofia (BUL), from 10-16 September, which will see the first three qualifying places in contention. A large part of the places will be allocated in Azerbaijan at the following year’s Worlds, from 16-22 September 2019 in Baku, where there will be 16 places at stake in the individual competition and five for the groups.
The individual gymnasts will have another opportunity to earn a place for their country in the 2020 World Cup series which will comprise four stages in April – with three places up for grabs.
The remaining route to Tokyo is via the 2020 continental championships, where there will be one place available in each continent’s individual and group events respectively.
Available places: 16 male gymnasts + 16 female gymnasts
Half of the qualifying places will be at stake in the very arena where the Olympics will unfold when Tokyo hosts the World Championships between 28 November and 1 December 2019, with the eight finalists in the individual competition securing a ticket for their country to the Games (albeit with a maximum of one per country).
The 2019-2020 World Cups will present another opportunity for the highest-ranked participants in this six-stage series to earn a place for their country, while the continental championships in May 2020 will decide more places, one for each continent not yet represented.
As host nation, Japan is allocated a number of protected places, although these will be awarded to other countries if Japan’s athletes fill this quota of places through the qualifying process. There are also a few places reserved for gymnasts from under-represented countries, selected by a tripartite commission for the Olympic movement a few months before the start of the Games.