U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Will Be Rescheduled After Tokyo Games Are Delayed

Following the IOC’s decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021, TrackTown USA announced that it will reschedule the Trials.

2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 7
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Over the past few months, dozens of races around the globe have been postponed or canceled outright due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, and now, the most anticipated meet of the year has also been delayed. On March 24, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee announced that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to 2021 to protect the health of athletes as well as the greater international community.

After the Olympics postponement decision was made, TrackTown USA announced that it is working with USA Track & Field (USATF) and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to reschedule the Olympic Track and Field Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon. The meet was originally scheduled for June 19 to 28, but will be moved to a later date.

There is no word yet on how the postponement will affect the qualifying window for the Olympics (as of now, athletes must hit Olympic qualifying standards in their respective events by June 29 in order to compete in Tokyo).

While Olympic hopefuls are understandably saddened by the news—as are track fans—the postponement of Trials and the Games was overwhelmingly met with positive reactions on social media.

“It feels like a collective big exhale from the running community, as we have all been holding our breaths waiting for the decision we knew was the right one for humanity during this crisis,” Sara Hall, who is transitioning from the marathon to the 10,000 meters, wrote on Instagram. “The beauty of the Olympics is how it brings people together, which right now would not be a good thing.”

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The decision to postpone the Games came after many athletes and countries lobbied for a delayed date. Last weekend, both Canada and Australia announced they would not send athletes to the Games if they proceeded as planned this summer. Meanwhile, the USATF requested in a letter to the IOC that the Games be postponed, citing concerns about inadequate training circumstances as well as the overall health of athletes.

“Unfortunately, while our world class athletes are willing to push themselves to their athletic limits in pursuit of Olympic success, the likelihood that they will be able to properly train in a safe and adequate environment, and replicate the excellence we have all come to expect, does not appear likely in the midst of this global crisis,” USATF CEO Max Siegel wrote in the letter.

After the IOC announced the postponement, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland addressed U.S. athletes in another letter.

“This summer was supposed to be a culmination of your hard work and life’s dream,” Hirshland wrote. “But taking a step back from competition to care for our communities and each other is the right thing to do. Your moment will wait until we can gather again safely.”

Emma Coburn, who won the bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic steeplechase, shared her thoughts on the postponement on social media.

“We train hard, we put our blood, sweat and tears into this. We dream for this,” Coburn wrote on Instagram. “Our dreams are not cancelled, they are just postponed. The safety of athletes, our communities and our world is most important. This is the right thing to do.”

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