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Vietnam athletics still has a chance as Olympic qualification date changed

Vietnam still has opportunities to earn Olympic berths after World Athletics (IAAF) changed the qualification deadline.

The IAAF has announced that the qualification period for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is suspended effective from April 6 until November 30, 2020.

During this period, results achieved at any competition will not be considered for Tokyo Games’ entry standards or world rankings.

IAAF also said the qualification period resumes on December 1 and continues to the new qualification deadline in 2021 set by the International Olympic Committee.

Vietnam athletics, has a chance, Olympic qualification date, Olympic berths, World Athletics, qualification deadline change, Covid-19 pandemic

Runner Nguyen Thi Huyen needs more effort to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

All changes are due to the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused the postponement of many tournaments since March.

IAAF leaders believed that the suspension would help athletes have more time for planning and preparation for their performance. And it is the best way to address fairness for athletes all over the world.

According to Nguyen Manh Hung, general secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, Vietnamese athletes would definitely enjoy their opportunities.

To date, Vietnam have earned five Olympic slots but none of those are for athletics. There are two main reasons for the failure.

The first one was the delay of tournaments due to the coronavirus, so athletes had no chance to compete. The second one is the higher standards that IAAF applied for the Tokyo Games, which according to Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic walker Nguyen Thanh Ngung was extremely difficult because that were close to last Games’ top three in most of events.

General Secretary Hung agreed with Ngung, saying: “It is not easy for Vietnamese athletes as the standards are high but there are still hopes in several events."

Hùng said currently the national best points are women’s 400m, 400m hurdle and 400m mixed relay.

2016 Olympian Nguyen Thi Huyen is expected to make her second Olympics.

Huyen won two gold medals at the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December in the Philippines. However, the results were made when she had just returned from maternity leave. The 26-year-old is expected to get higher results as she has months to practise.

The mixed relay team also won SEA Games gold and set a tournament’s record is another hope. With a result of 3min 19.5sec they are 17th in the world while the world's top 16 teams will qualify for Tokyo. Japan are currently 16th with a time of 3min 18.77sec.

Head of the Vietnam Sports Administration Vuong Bich Thang said despite difficulties the administration would give best conditions for athletes to achieve their targets.

If Vietnam fail to secure an official berth, they could still join the event with two wildcards.

At the two previous Games, Vietnam had two athletics representatives each.

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Source: VNA

Vietnam athletics, has a chance, Olympic qualification date, Olympic berths, World Athletics, qualification deadline change, Covid-19 pandemic
 
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