Paris – The International Olympic Committee confirmed at its executive board meeting on Wednesday that around 76% of athletes have qualified for the Tokyo Games, with 8,500 quota places allocated with 44 days until the opening ceremony.
Of the total quota places for the games, 20% remain to be allocated via rankings and only 4% via qualification events taking place by the June 29 deadline, as announced last year as part of the adapted qualification process.
Also on Wednesday, the IOC said 75% of prospective Olympic and Paralympic Village residents have either already been vaccinated or are scheduled to be vaccinated, with the figure set to rise to over 80% when the games start. The village officially opens July 14.
“We are contacting every single NOC and every single athlete to see whether we can help (with the vaccination). We will continue the effort until it is too late because we have a deadline,” said Christophe Dubi, the IOC’s Olympic Games executive director.
Dubi said in a press briefing after the executive board meeting that the IOC expects a decision on domestic fan attendance to be made “around the end of June” and the updated playbooks, which outline coronavirus mitigation steps and provide other related information, to be released soon.
The IOC also said at least 10 Olympic berths are set to be redistributed after North Korea’s decision to withdraw from the games.
North Korea said in April it would not attend the delayed Tokyo Games, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, but according to the IOC’s Director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations James McLeod, it did not officially inform the IOC of its decision.
Besides North Korea, no other country has publicly stated plans to skip the event. The IOC and Japanese organizers have repeatedly expressed confidence that a safe and secure games can be delivered, even if Tokyo remains under a state of emergency.
Tokyo is one of 10 prefectures in Japan currently under a state of emergency because of a high COVID-19 infection rate.
Japan still lags behind the rest of the developed world in its vaccine rollout, with mass vaccination efforts only recently beginning. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged that the entire population will be vaccinated by November.
Spectators from overseas have already been barred from entering the country for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Olympics will take place from July 23 to Aug. 8 and the Paralympics will follow from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.
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