Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty

Nearly 6,500 athletes who qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will keep their spots when the event takes place in 2021, according to new qualification rules announced by the International Olympic Committee Tuesday.

The big picture: The revision was made to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, replacing a previous version of the regulations from July 2017. The new qualifying deadline is June 29, 2021, and entry lists are due one week later.

  • 57% of the total athlete spots have already been assigned, with approximately 5,000 athlete quota places remaining, per the IOC.
  • It is possible for international federations to extend the age eligibility requirements, if they exist, and allow athletes eligible in 2020 to remain so and compete at next year's Games.
  • Respective sports federations around the world are still deciding their own qualifying procedures.

What they're saying:

"Athlete health is the guiding principle in the scheduling of any remaining Olympic qualification events. With the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 until 2021, the IOC has urged that any such events be confirmed only once the COVID-19 impacts can be assessed, allowing fair access and appropriate preparation for all competing athletes and teams."
— International Olympic Committee

What's next: The rescheduled Olympics are slated to take place July 23 through Aug. 8 next year.

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