World Sailing eye Tokyo qualifiers in late 2020 or early 2021

(Reuters) - World Sailing is planning to stage Olympic qualification events later this year or in early 2021 in the wake of the Tokyo Games’ postponement, the sport’s governing body has said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Games organizers on Tuesday decided to move the July 24-Aug. 9 event to “no later than summer 2021” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The IOC had previously granted World Sailing an extension to the qualification period to June 30 after the World Cup Series Genoa event was canceled due to the coronavirus crisis.

But sailing’s governing body has now confirmed it would not hold the remainder of the qualification events for Africa, Asia or Europe in the short term.

"World Sailing ... supports the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee decision to ensure the health and well-being of athletes, fans and support personnel worldwide," it said in a statement. here

“The IOC are engaging with World Sailing to develop the necessary plans in full partnership and to ensure full transparency with a focus on information for World Sailing and the athletes.

“World Sailing is working with the IOC on an update to the qualification system where our recommendation will be to look at hosting qualifications events in late 2020 or early 2021.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford