Tokyo Games: IOC amends regulations; Losing semifinalist to get a shot at gold medal if finalist tests positive, in hockey, athletics, tennis and shooting
PM

Mumbai: The Covid-19 effect has taken the toll on the Tokyo Olympics all the disciplines, on the athletes who get infected ahead of his/her title clash during the Tokyo Olympics, the losing semi-finalist will get a shot at gold medal, according to the regulations published for the Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

However, there was no clarity as to what will happen to the finalist, who was at least assured of a silver medal.

The IOC published the Sports Specific Regulations (SSR) for all the sporting disciplines on Saturday to make it clear what happens of the athletes get infection during the competition.

Changes in the next round in wrestling, athletics, shooting, tennis and hockey are being made.

Track and field athletes who are unable to feature in a particular phase of competition will be replaced by the next-best placed competitor from the previous round. While in shooting, the IOC has approved replacement in the mixed team shooting events.

However, the same leeway has not been granted to the individual events in shooting, which will see 356 athletes from as many as 100 countries competing for glory in Tokyo, with the women's 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol events drawing maximum participants.

"For the mixed team event, in case an athlete can no longer take part in the event, but the NOC (National Olympic Committee) has another athlete on site, the NOC can replace an athlete team member," the IOC's Tokyo 2020 Sport-Specific Regulations (SSR) stated.

In hockey, the losing semifinalists in hockey might get a shot at Olympic gold, if one of the finalist teams is forced out as the afflicted side's last-four stage opponent would be elevated to the summit clash.

The SSR has been developed jointly by International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Federations (IFs) to determine the impact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case and its management in competition formats and structures.

"In Hockey, teams unable to compete due to COVID-19 will not be disqualified and will be marked as DNS (Did Not Start). In case a team in the knockout stages is no longer able to compete due to COVID-19 their minimum ranking achieved will be protected and, if time allows, their opponent will advance to the next round.

The wrestling competition in 18 weight categories -- six each in freestyle, women and greco-roman -- will begin from August 1.

The IOC published the Sports Specific Regulations (SSR) for all the sporting disciplines on Saturday to make it clear what happens of the athletes get infection during the competition.

"In Wrestling, if an athlete is not able to compete due to COVID-19, the athlete will not be disqualified and will be marked as 'DNS' (Did Not Start). The opponent receives a bye into the next round," the regulations stated.

"In case the athlete has reached the final and is no longer able to compete due to COVID-19 the athlete eliminated in the respective semi-final will fill the vacant place and compete in the final," it added.

So is the case in tennis wherein a women's doubles team of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina are in the tennis competition of the Games.

As per the regulations for tennis, the IOC clarified that,"athletes unable to start the competition due to COVID-19 will not be disqualified and will be marked as DNS."

"In case the athlete has started the competition and can no longer compete due to COVID-19 will be marked as W/O (walkover). The opponent will receive a bye and the minimum result of the athlete is protected."

The men's doubles team of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan has missed the cut and were fifth alternate team till recently to enter the field in case of withdrawals.

Meanwhile, India's Olympic-bound boxing contingent, which is preparing for the Games in Italy right now, will leave for Tokyo from their training base in Assisi on July 17.

An unprecedented nine Indian pugilists have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, including five men and four women. The Games will open on July 23 with boxing competitions starting the next day.

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