Lausanne, Feb 11 (IANS): The All-Around World Cup Series in Artistic Gymnastics, which was part of the Olympic qualification system for the Tokyo Olympic Games has been cancelled, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced.
The series was made up of four events -- in Milwaukee (US), Stuttgart (Germany), Birmingham (Great Britain) and Tokyo (Japan) -- originally intended to take place between March and April 2020.
While the first event took place last year in Milwaukee, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the three other events until 2021.
The reinforcement of entry bans in Europe in recent weeks has drastically reduced the ability of foreign athletes to take part in events in the continent, leading first to the cancellation of the World Cup in Germany last week, then of the World Cup in Birmingham this week, FIG said.
The World Cup in Tokyo on May 4, which serves as a test event for the Games in Artistic Gymnastics, remains unaffected for the moment, the body added.
However, the Olympic qualification system rules state that a minimum of three competitions must be held to validate the results of the series as a qualifier for Tokyo 2020.
According to the rules, the unused places go to the highest-ranked countries and regions in the team ranking results of the qualifications at the 2019 World Championships.
As a result, Russia, China and Japan obtained an additional non-nominative berth for Tokyo 2020 in men's qualification while the US, China and Russia were given an additional non-nominative berth in women's qualification.
To date, 82 places out of 98 in men's artistic and 84 out of 98 in women's artistic have already been allocated.
The remaining places at stake will be allocated through the Apparatus World Cup Series (the final stage of which is scheduled for 10-13 March in Doha, (QAT)) and the continental championships.