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How can gymnasts qualify for Tokyo Olympics 2020

Gymnastics is a very elegant Olympic event
Gymnastics is a very elegant Olympic event
Modified 02 Mar 2020

Also check out: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Schedule

Gymnastics has been part of the modern Olympics since the 1896 Athens Games. Initially, there was an event just for men, but in 1928 a women's event was included too. There are three main disciplines in Olympic gymnastics. They are artistic, trampoline, and rhythmic. Each discipline is judged by a panel of judges based on the level of difficulty, accuracy and execution.

Women compete in 4 medal events while men compete in 6. These six are pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bar, horizontal bar, and floor. The four women's events are beam, vault, uneven bars, and floor.

Gymnastics requires a great amount of skill and talent requiring an athlete to be very agile, strong, and precise. Balance and stability are two key factors that the judges take into consideration while scoring each athlete.

After the 2016 Rio games, the qualification process for gymnastics underwent a review. During a meet in Melbourne, the FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique) came to a consensus where a new system of qualification would come into play.

According to the new system, from 5 team members, only 4 team members per country are allowed to qualify. But that doesn't mean the other qualifiers are left stranded. The others who qualify still have a shot at performing in the qualifications for the all-rounds or the event finals.

So how does one qualify in gymnastics for the 2020 Olympics Games? Here's how:

Criteria 1 | Team Final of the 2018 World Championships

In both the men's and women's team event, the top 3 teams will qualify for a place in the 2020 Olympics. The teams who have secured their seats in the men's category are: Japan, China, and Russia. The teams who have secured their seats in the women's category are Russia, USA, and China.


Criteria 2 | Team Qualification (2019 World Championships)

During this event, 9 teams get to secure a spot in the Olympics. These 9 teams will be the top 9 teams but will exclude the three teams who have already qualified during the 2018 World Championships.

In the men's team category, the following nation teams secured a spot: Ukraine, Great Britain, Switzerland, USA, Chinese Taipei, Republic of Korea, Brazil, Spain, and Germany.

In the women's team category, the following nation teams secured a spot: France, Canada, Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Japan, and Spain.

Criteria 3 | All-round Athlete Qualifications (2019 World Championships)

This criterion is dependant on the results from criteria 1 i.e. the results from the 2018 World Championships. 20 women and 12 men in the all-round standing who do not belong to any of the national teams who have already qualified, earn a spot in the individual qualification place.

Here a single spot is given to one athlete per nation. Hence no more than 1 athlete will get awarded a spot per country. The athlete will be awarded a spot by their name and not their country.

Criteria 4 | Individual Apparatus Finals (2019 World Championships)

For the athletes who have not qualified from any of the previous criteria and are not part of any qualifying team, they get a chance to compete for a spot in the Olympic Qualification in the Apparatus Finals.

Simply put, for the athletes who didn't make it during the all-round ranking qualification and weren't part of any team to have qualified, they are eligible for qualification here.


From the results based on the Apparatus Finals, the top 3 athletes will qualify for a place in the Olympics. Up to 3 gymnasts per country are allowed to qualify here. But they will qualify in their name and not in their country's name.

Here in the women's category Yeo Seojeong from Korea has secured a spot. From the men's category, some of the qualifiers include Artem Dolgopyat from Isreal, Le Thanh Tung from Vietnam and Ahmet Onder from Turkey.

Criteria 5 | Individual Apparatus World Cup Series ( 2018-19 and 2019-20)

Between November 2018 and March 2020 a series of 8 individual World Cups will be held. Here the three highest results of each gymnast per apparatus will be taken into consideration. Per apparatus, each country can send only two athletes to compete.

Through Criteria 3 and 4, the athletes who have earned individual spots and athletes who have competed with their teams and gained a team spot during the 2018 and 2019 World Championships, may take part but are not allowed to earn an extra spot for their team.

The gymnasts who are ranked the highest based on each apparatus after the conclusion of the series is eligible to qualify for a place.

Criteria 6 | Individual All-round World Cup Series (2020)

The teams that ranked amongst the top 12 based on the 2019 World Championships will be invited to participate in 2020 All-round Individual World Cup Series. Per country, just one athlete can take part. The athletes can vary for different competitions.


Once the series has concluded, the top 3 athletes in both the men's and women's category will qualify. Here the athletes will qualify for their country and not on their names. It depends on the country to choose the athlete they want to send in to be a part of the all apparatus 2020 Qualification round. Here that athlete can't take part as a team.

The countries that have been invited so far for the Individual All-Round World Cup series are:

Men's: Russia, China, Great Britain, Japan, Switerzland, Ukraine, USA, Chinese Taipei, Spain, South Korea, and Brazil

Women's: China, USA, France, Russia, Netherlands, Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Belgium

Criteria 7 | Continental Championships 2020

Any particular country that has already qualified with a team and has additional two individual qualifiers (who qualified based on criteria 5 and 6) can take part in this event but cannot earn one more spot in the qualifiers.

The same goes for any athlete who took part during a team event and got selected as part of that team. After the All-round results, a country may earn an additional individual spot in the qualifiers. This spot is granted to the country and not the individual.

At the Continental Championships, there is a maximum of 2 spots that can be gained by a country. But the Oceania Continental Championships give out just one spot.

Also see | World Gymnastics Championships 2019: Simone Biles wins gold in floor exercise final to seal her most-decorated status

Also check out: the Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal tally

Published 29 Feb 2020, 13:15 IST
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