Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis said the Qualification System Principles (QSP) established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), outlining rules procedures and criteria for participation in the Olympic Games will provide needed clarity as Team TTO gears up for Paris 2024.
Each International Federation establishes its sport’s qualification rules, procedures and criteria for participation in the Olympic Games, as stipulated in the bye-law to Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, and qualification of each athlete is then subject to final selection by each National Olympic Committee (NOC), upon the recommendation of the respective national federation (NF).
These qualification systems must conform to the QSP released earlier this week.
The document includes several principles to ensure that fair and equal opportunities are available for all athletes and teams, and that fundamental values such as universality, gender equality and non-discrimination are upheld, while also ensuring the participation of the world’s best athletes at the Olympic Games.
The QSP provide the basis for the development of the individual qualification system for each of the sports/disciplines on the programme for Paris 2024.
The individual systems will set out the exact criteria for qualification and eligibility of athletes and teams, and will be published after they are approved by the IOC executive board in early 2022, with the qualification window starting in June 2022.
Across all sports, the qualification systems ensure the participation of all 206 NOCs with a minimum of one man and one woman in their delegation at Paris 2024.
Each qualification system must therefore include a time-line for qualification, taking into account the fact that no qualification period for any sport/discipline may exceed 24 months, and all qualification events must be completed by no later than 23 June 2024.
“I like the fact there is an emphasis on no ambiguity, (and) it must be clear and must be published early, and I think that is a very important step. Certainly the TTOC will be fully supporting (it) because too many times in the past there have been questions relating around selections, especially as it relates to National Sporting Organisations. And the TTOC in the past has found itself in an untenable situation as it relates to the TTOC having the exclusive authority for the representation for the country at Olympic Games,” Lewis explained.
“So it is very good that the IOC intends to ensure that the qualification process is clear. So I think in the context of Paris 2024, that is extremely useful and important and the TTOC will be embracing the IOC’s qualification principles and we await the actual presentation and circulation of their process in February 2022 when the IOC’s executive Board approve in full,” he added.
Looking ahead to Paris 2024, Lewis said the qualification process will start in June 2022 and end in June 2024.
“There is really no time to wallow in any negativity and wondering where we are at and what happened in Tokyo 2020. It is about building, learning and moving on,” he said.
Lewis said the TTOC will be looking to see how it can get a team that is 50 per cent male and 50 per cent female for Paris 2024.
According to the IOC, gender equality and youth are at the heart of the Paris 2024 Olympic sports programme, with athlete participation at exactly 50 per cent male and female.
The TTOC also wants to include qualifiers for the new sports such as breakdancing, skateboarding and surfing.
“So I see it as a very interesting and exciting time as we move forward to Paris 2024,” Lewis added.