EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020 ARE GOING AHEAD, NOT BEING QUALIFIERS FOR TOKYO 2021
The Executive Committee of European Gymnastics met online the 28th of September to discuss the planned 2020 events and came to the following decisions, that they stated in an official communication on their website:
These are supported by the firm intention of the Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation. The representatives of 39 countries applied for participation.This decision was made after the International Gymnastics Federation Released their Medical Guidelines for FIG competitors and events during the COVID-19 pandemic report the 17th of September. In this report FIG states:
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak forced the cancellation or postponement of many sporting events in 2020. In this challenging time, the resumption of international competitions requires strict medical and social measures to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. The FIG has drawn up these guidelines to ensure that athletes and their entourages can compete within a safer and more secure environment at all international Gymnastics events. However, laws and regulations set by national and local governments must always prevail over the requirements and recommendations in these guidelines.
The medical guidelines
The report has a detailed account on how to hold a sporting event safely that analyses the risk assessment of a competition, migration measures, health checks, preparation of the venue and accommodation and more. They analyse various scenarios and stress the importance of the local government's final say.
Russia stays at home
According to Tass.ru , the Russian national rhythmic gymnastics team will not change its decision and will not take part in the November European Championships in Kiev. This was reported by the president of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics (VFHG) and the head coach of the national team Irina Viner-Usmanova:
“Today we decided that the competition will not be qualifying and will be held without spectators. And tomorrow they may be canceled altogether, because the level of epidemiological danger has increased in all countries. In such conditions, fly to Kiev with transfers and then compete indoors ... I consider it suicidal step"
Are the European Championships safe right now?
The strict guidelines to host an event that the FIG crafted could make an event safe to be organized competently. The truth is that since this European Championship won't act as qualifiers, participating may not be worth the risk for most countries. What this competition may bring us, however, is a way to test the waters before Tokyo 2021. The more time it passes, the more we as a society we realize this Virus will be around for a good while, and it won't be leaving any time soon. If we learn how to effectively organize smaller events safely, test what works and what doesn't may make the Tokyo Olympics in order to make it a 100% corona-virus free.
Why are they not Olympic Qualifiers?
The committee doesn't want to put any country under pressure to decide whether they want to stay safe or put themselves at risk to qualify for Tokyo if the number of cases happens to grow in certain nations. They stated on their press release that he conditions in the current situation are considered not appropriate for such an important decision and we do not want to pressure our federations to travel to an event (only due to it being Olympic qualifying event) to which they otherwise might not want to come.
“The conditions are not adequate and we do not want to pressure our federations to travel to a competition to which they would otherwise they would not travel, just because it is qualifying for the Games“
-Says the European Gymnastic Union in a statement