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IFSC Announces Coronavirus Contingency Plan for Asian Championship Olympic Qualification Spots


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If the Asian Championship is cancelled, South Korea’s Chaehyun Seo will receive an Olympic berth based on her performance at the 2019 World Championships.© IFSC/Eddie Fowke

Update 3/11/20: The IFSC posted a statement about upcoming competitions amid coronavirus concerns: “With regard to the calendar, the IFSC is moving towards the postponement of both the IFSC Asian Championships and the IFSC European Championships until June. At the same time, the Sport Department is reconsidering all the events expected to take place in April, exploring the possibility to reschedule them at a later stage. On a positive note both the IFSC African Championships and the IFSC Oceania Championships are confirmed at the moment.”

The International Olympic Committee has announced that they will decide in May whether the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will proceed or be cancelled due to the coronavirus. In the meantime, fans can only speculate about the fate of the games. The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), on the other hand, has international events throughout the spring and has already made difficult decisions. They’ve cancelled all April 2020 events in China, which includes two World Cups. Now the fate of the Asian Championship, which has Olympic implications, is also in question.

On March 3, the IFSC released a statement on their website:

To be clear, the Asian Championship has not been cancelled at this time. The decision is pending for the event planned for April 27 – May 3 in Morioka, Japan. But because that event will award Olympic berths to the male and female winners, the IFSC has created a contingency plan in case the competition does not take place. An amendment to the Olympic qualification guidelines outlines the specifics:

Based on these criteria, if the Asian Championship is cancelled the Olympic berths will be awarded to Jongwon Chon and rising star Chaehyun Seo, both of South Korea.

Update 3/9/20

The IFSC has not released a statement about the Asian Championship, but Jongwon Chon and Chaehyun Sea have both posted on Instagram to announce that they have received Olympic berths. Climbing is monitoring the situation and will update when we have official news.

Stay tuned for Climbing.com for updates about the Olympics and the IFSC schedule, and check out Olympic Climbing 101 for a full rundown of how climbing in the Tokyo Olympics will work.