23 Jul 2020

Following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the ITTF has been working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the necessary adjustments of the Qualification System.

On a letter dated 1st April 2020, the IOC Sport Department advised International Federations as follows:

  • The priority remains to reflect, where possible, the allocation method/pathway of the original qualification systems. This principle encourages IFs to follow a like-for-like approach by replacing those lost opportunities that were allocating quota with the same number of events.
  • Regarding the scenario whereby quota allocation was originally based on ranking, IFs retain full discretion to define the new ranking deadline and pathway. The IOC recognises the sensitivity of such decisions. A sport-specific balance needs to be found between protecting those athletes who were close to qualifying based on the previous 2020 deadlines, whilst also ensuring the participation of the best athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by allowing the top performers of the 2021 season to qualify.
  • As previously suggested, IFs are encouraged to engage with their respective member federations and Athletes Commission in order to reach a consensus on a fair and transparent decision.

Following the IOC communication, the ITTF Administration immediately started discussions with the ITTF Athletes Commission.

A survey was sent to International Athletes through the ITTF Member Associations and the Athletes Commission, receiving almost 200 responses. The results were analysed by the ITTF Athletes Commission and ITTF Competition Department, and were also presented to the ITTF Executive Committee, which received progress reports during the meetings held on 15th April, 1st May and 9th May.

The proposed Revised Qualification System was approved unanimously at the ITTF Executive Committee held on 4th June, and then submitted to the IOC Qualification Taskforce, for their consideration.

The IOC confirmed the agreement on the Revised Qualification System for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games table tennis events and informed the ITTF that the text is now available to National Olympic Committees via the NOCnet (IOC extranet for NOCs), therefore authorising publication also on the ITTF website.

You can find the documents here:

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a lot of uncertainty in terms of qualification events and calendar of competitions in the lead up to the Games.

Similar to the initial process, when the document was originally uploaded in 2018, the ITTF will provide updates on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games section as the calendar is being confirmed.

If you have any questions related to the Olympic Games qualification system, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Press Releases Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games COVID-19