The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced the cancellation of the All-Around World Cup Series in artistic gymnastics, which was part of the Olympic qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.
The series was due to consist of four events – in Milwaukee (USA), Stuttgart (Germany), Birmingham (Great Britain), and Tokyo (Japan) – originally intended to take place between March and April 2020.
Only the first event in Milwaukee went ahead last year, while the remaining three were postponed to 2021 after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The World Cup events in Stuttgart and Birmingham have been called off in the last couple of weeks, leading to the decision announced on Wednesday (10th February) to cancel the whole series.
In a statement, FIG mentions 'the reinforcement of entry bans in Europe in recent weeks' as the reason for the cancellation, given that the new measures have 'drastically reduced the ability of foreign athletes to take part in events in the continent.'
The World Cup in Tokyo on 4 May 2021, which serves as a test event for the Games in Artistic Gymnastics, remains unaffected for the moment, according to FIG.
The cancellation affects the allocation of the remaining Olympic qualifying spots in artistic gymnastics.
According to the rules, the unused places go to the highest-ranked countries in the team ranking results of the qualifications at the 2019 World Championships.
So Russia, China, and Japan in men's artistic, and USA, China, and Russia in women's artistic, benefit of an additional non-nominative berth for Tokyo 2020.
To date, 82 places out of 98 in men’s artistic and 84 out of 98 in women’s artistic have already been allocated.
The remaining places at stake will be allocated through the Apparatus World Cup Series (the final stage of which is scheduled for 10–13 March in Doha, Qatar) and the continental championships.