Sigh and a half.
Today, the FIG decided to put all our speculation to rest and brain fart out its decision regarding how the Olympic qualification and eligibility system will be amended for an Olympics taking place in 2021. Here’s what we now know:
Code of points: The 2017-2020 code of points will remain in force until the end of 2021. This was the only acceptable decision since this code has governed the entire qualification process, and it would be fairly ridiculous to change codes just for the Olympics.
If, then, the 2020 code is retained for the Olympics, it must remain in effect for the rest of 2021 too since you can’t very well suddenly switch to a new code for events for events in the autumn, allowing no adjustment period.
Age Eligibility: Athletes who turn senior in 2021 WILL be eligible to qualify for and compete in the Olympics. This will be the most controversial decision of the bunch, and I do take issue with it, though not for the reasons most do—which seem to have something to do with fairness. I don’t think it is unfair to other athletes, per se, to allow the 2021 seniors to compete in the Olympics because it will be 2021 and they will officially be senior gymnasts. Just like the new 2020 seniors were going to be able to waltz into the Olympics without participating in any of the qualification process in the 2020 Olympics. It’s now exactly the same for the 2021 seniors.
I do, however, view it as logically inconsistent with the code of points decision, which is making an understandable (and correct) exception to the usual way of things by treating these Olympics as the 2020 Olympics and refraining from making the normal rules adjustments for the 2021 year.
My favorite part of this decision is that it cites the technical regulations as justification, but then links to some document about parkour scoring. Good good good.
Apparatus Qualification: The least justifiable decision make by the FIG today concerns the Baku World Cup, which as you might recall had to be halted after qualification because the world is ending.
The FIG has decided that the qualification results from Baku will stand as the final results and Olympic points will be awarded based on qualification, which is…ludicrous, insane, and wrong.
Do we even need to explain why? Qualification is not the final. Athletes wouldn’t necessarily have performed the routines they did in qualification if they had known it would be treated as a final. Not to mention, there were a number of athletes who elected not to attend for virus reasons (Stephen Nedoroscik, for example) in what turned out to be a prudent and healthy decision, one that these athletes should not be punished for. But they are being punished for it. Using Baku qualification results as official eliminates Nedoroscik from apparatus spot contention.
I feel like we need to get him and Emma Nedov in contact with each other (this decision would also give Urara Ashikawa the beam spot based on those qualification results) to take this to the Court of Arbitration for Sport because it is objectively not right to decide after the event that qualification now counts as the final when no one competed under that assumption during the meet. You HAVE to hold the entire event over again.
Copenhagen worlds: I’ll finish things up on a better note—the decision that 2021 worlds in Denmark will go on as planned. Good. There was really no need to change 2021 worlds because it wouldn’t conflict with the Olympics, and this event should be super fun.