Salem Radio Network News Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sports

Exclusive-Olympics-Alpine skiing-IOC grants four extra quota places for Beijing

By Shadia Nasralla

LONDON (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has granted four extra quota places for Alpine skiers at the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are due to start next week, as some qualifying events are “under review”, the IOC told Reuters on Monday.

“The International Skiing Federation (FIS) has informed the IOC that the results of some qualifying events in Alpine Skiing for (Beijing) which were held under the authority of FIS are under review,” the IOC said in an emailed statement.

This investigation might lead to a change of the list of athletes already qualified, it said ahead of a deadline for entries for the Games on Monday.

“FIS has requested the IOC to increase the quota for Alpine Skiing by four. In the interest of all athletes concerned, the IOC has decided to accept the request by FIS and will grant four additional quota places in Alpine Skiing,” IOC said.

New quota rules for Alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics, which is scheduled for Feb. 4-21, are supposed to make access fairer for men and women as well as historically better- and weaker-performing nations.

At previous Winter Games, competing nations had the chance to distribute some places between men and women depending on their performance that season. In 2018, a team could send up to 14 men, this year up to 11.

If the men had better results that year, more men might be sent to the Olympics, which is what often happened.

This year the overall number of alpine skiers has been cut to 306 out of which a maximum of 153 men can compete. At the same time, more nations are set to compete, allowing quota spots for more countries with less or no medal-winning history.

“IOC has stressed to FIS the need for a comprehensive review of the relevant aspects of the Olympic qualification system in order to avoid similar issues and impacts on athletes in future Olympic Winter Games,” the IOC said.

FIS did not reply to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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