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World Sailing respond to the IOC sports programme announcement for Tokyo 2020

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing on 9 Jun 9 June 2017
49er FX Medal Race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition © Richard Langdon / Ocean Images

World Sailing, the International Federation of the sport, received the news today that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed the proposed 10 sailing events for Tokyo 2020, but reduced the athlete quota for Sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by 30 athletes from 380 to 350. The decision was made today (9 June) in Lausanne by the IOC Executive Board following an IOC Programme Commission recommendation.

Read the IOC's press release in full here.

On the IOC's announcement, World Sailing President Kim Andersen said, "The IOC Executive Board decision to confirm our 10 medal events for Tokyo 2020, but reduce sailing's quota by 30 sailors is disappointing. The reduction in sailors will impact our ability to drive the development of the sport in-line with the Olympic Agenda 2020 objectives and we will now need to review the quotas for 2020 and any impact on our event programme and we will discuss this matter further with the IOC over the coming days.

"Our quota proposal to the IOC would have delivered gender equity at a sport level in 2020, supported by proposed development programmes for women sailors in the RSX and Laser Radial, specifically aimed at increasing the number of nations with women's programmes who would have had a realistic opportunity to qualify for an entry at the Olympic Games.

"World Sailing has a long history of innovation and sustainable evolution of sport, successfully delivering against the IOC requirements of universality, increasing gender equity and staging events that have growing appeal to young sailing and non-sailing fans.

"World Sailing has worked hard to influence and justify to the IOC the sports development and innovation plans and we are pleased that the Foiling Nacra 17 has been approved for inclusion at Tokyo 2020 by the IOC Executive Board, together with a number of event format innovations to make the sailing competition more easily understandable and exciting for both sailing and non-sailing fans.

"However, we understand the need for continuous evolution of the Olympic Programme and we will continue to work closely with the IOC on the future of our sport and to make the Tokyo 2020 Games a great success.

"World Sailing's goals and priorities for the Olympic Sailing Competition remain. We will continue to ensure we grow participation at qualification events and the Olympic Games and subsequently support developing nations to narrow the performance gap, ensuring a wide spread of medals.

"We will also continue to work with the IOC on our proposed Kiteboarding and Offshore showcase events for sailing."

World Sailing will now commence an internal review of quotas for the 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition and will consult with the IOC on the 2020 event programme. Changes to the quotas in each Olympic event require the World Sailing Events Committee to make a recommendation for approval to the World Sailing Council, which will then need to be further approved by the IOC Executive Board.

The timing of any changes will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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