Olympics Set for Friday July 23-Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021–Confirm All Sports from 2020 Calendar
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The Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo from Friday July 23 to Sunday August 8, the International Olympic Committee announced Monday, and will include all sports on the 2020 calendar, including equestrian before they were postponed for the first time in history by the coronavirus pandemic. The new dates for the Paralympic Games are Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
The Games in 2021–still named Tokyo 2020–will be one year minus one day after the event of 33 sports. If the schedule set for 2020 is followed next year, dressage will be the first of the equestrian disciplines to be held, followed by eventing and jumping.
Dressage of 60 rider and horse combinations–45 for 15 teams each of three combinations and 15 individuals–would be Grand Prix July 24-25, Grand Prix Special to decide team medals July 27 and Grand Prix Freestyle for individual medals July 28.
National teams and individuals that have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games–already completed for dressage–will keep their places. Teams are Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and United States. Individual places have been awarded to Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Ukraine.
Postponement of the Olympics by one year, however, impacts the European Championships of dressage, eventing and jumping that are currently on the calendar for August, 2021 and are qualifiers for the 2022 world championships that supersede the World Equestrian Games.
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has set up task forces to review scheduling conflicts, deadlines for obtaining minimum eligibility requirements and extending the deadline for registration of ownership for Olympic horses as well as other issues.
The IOC said in its statement on the new dates: “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the International Federations. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.”
IOC President Thomas Bach said the international federations were unanimous in supporting the process of changing dates.