Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification events to watch in 2019

With Tokyo 2020 just over a year away, Canadian athletes are working hard to earn Olympic spots.

In some sports, Olympic qualification will be based on world ranking lists that count results from an entire year or more. But in this list you’ll find all of the competitions in 2019 where it’s more like win and you’re in.

Sometimes an athlete’s result will qualify them directly for Tokyo 2020. But in most cases, the quota places are awarded to the NOC (National Olympic Committee) and then another selection process takes place within the country to choose who goes to the Games.

Olympic Qualification for Tokyo 2020

Stay up-to-date on the Olympic spots earned by Canadian athletes with our qualification tracker and check out the schedule below so you can show your support to our athletes looking to be on Team Canada in Tokyo.


Team Canada’s Georcy Thiffeault Picard during the women’s individual archery 1/32 elimination round at Sombodromo Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday August 10, 2016. COC Photo/David Jackson

June 10-16: Archery – World Archery Championships – Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

  • At the end of the 2019 World Archery Championships, the top eight teams of each gender (three athletes per team) and the top four individuals from NOCs that have not already qualified a team will earn spots in Tokyo for their country.

June 27-July 7: Modern Pentathlon – UIPM World Cup Final – Tokyo, Japan

  • The winners of the men’s and women’s individual events at the 2019 UIPM World Cup Final in Tokyo will punch their own tickets to the 2020 Olympic Games. The competition will also act as an official Test Event.

June 28-July 7: Beach Volleyball – FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships – Hamburg, Germany

  • The men’s and women’s 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Champion teams will earn berths into the Olympic tournaments for their NOC. Each country can earn a maximum of two teams per Olympic tournament.


Canada’s Taylor Ruck competes on her way to winning the women’s 200m freestyle final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

July 6-7: Rugby Sevens – North American Olympic Games Regional Qualification Tournament – George Town, Cayman Islands

  • The winner of the men’s and women’s tournaments will automatically qualify for Tokyo 2020. If, however, two teams from North America qualify through the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, the regional place will be added to the Final Olympic Repechage Tournament.

July 12-20: Artistic Swimming – FINA World Championships – Gwangju, South Korea

  • In South Korea, the top two teams not already qualified for the Games will earn Olympic spots for their countries. At the same time, the event is also serving as Continental Qualifiers for Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

July 12-20: Diving – FINA World Championships – Gwangju, South Korea

  • The three highest placed synchro teams of each gender and 12 highest placed athletes in each individual event will earn Olympic quota spots for their NOC.

July 13-20: Open Water Swimming – FINA World Championships – Gwangju, South Korea

  • The top 10 swimmers in each of the men’s and women’s 10km marathons will earn their own place at Tokyo 2020.

July 21-28: Swimming – FINA World Championships – Gwangju, South Korea

  • In each relay event, the 12 highest-placed NOCs, based on results in the heats, will qualify their country in that event for the 2020 Summer Games.

July 13-27: Water Polo – FINA World Championships – Gwangju, South Korea

  • Unless already qualified, the top two men’s teams and the top women’s team at the world championships will earn tickets to Tokyo.


Pitcher Jenna Caira worked 4 innings, and allowed 4 hits and 2 runs, with 3 strikeouts during the bronze medal match against Japan at the World Softball Championships on August 12, 2018. (Photo: WBSC)

August 2-4: Volleyball (Women) – Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament – Kaliningrad, Russia 

  • There are six tournaments taking place simultaneously around the world, with the winner of each qualifying for Tokyo 2020. Canada will be facing Russia, South Korea and Mexico in Pool E.

August 9-11: Volleyball (Men) – Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournaments – Ningbo, China 

  • Formatted just like the women’s tournaments, Canada will be playing against Argentina, Finland and China in Pool F.

August 13-23: Shooting – World Cup Shotgun – Lahti, Finland

  • The 2019 World Cup Shotgun will serve as a qualifier for the trap and skeet events. The top two eligible athletes in each event will earn quota places for their respective NOCs.

August 21–25: Canoe/Kayak Sprint – ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships – Szeged, Hungary

  • This will be the first opportunity for NOCs to qualify boats for Tokyo 2020. Olympic spots will be awarded to the top five countries in K-1 200m, top six in K-1/K-2 500m/1000m, top 10 in K-4 500m, top six in C-1 200m/1000m, and top eight in C-2 500m/1000m.

August 25-September 1: Softball – WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier – Surrey, British Columbia

  • Team Canada will be looking to secure its place at Tokyo 2020 by winning the WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier on home soil. The top two teams in the tournament will receive automatic entry. The United States and Japan have already cemented their place in the Games.

August 25-September 1: Rowing – World Rowing Championships – Ottensheim, Austria

  • The 2019 World Rowing Championships will serve as the first opportunity for Team Canada to qualify boats. Olympic spots will be awarded to the top nine countries in single sculls, top 11 in pair and double sculls, top eight in four and quadruple sculls, and top five in the eight.

August 26-September 3: Shooting – 2019 World Cup Rifle/Pistol – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Subject to maximum quota regulations, the top two male and female athletes in each event, except trap and skeet, will capture quota spots for their NOCs.

August 28-September 1: Mountain Bike – UCI Mountain Bike World Championships – Mont-Saint-Anne, Quebec

  • The two highest ranked NOCs in each Elite cross-country race as well as the two highest ranked NOCs in each U23 cross-country race will earn Olympic quota places.

August 31-September 15: Basketball (Men) – FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 – China

  • Team Canada’s first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020 will come in September as the top two countries for the Americas will earn Olympic spots alongside five other countries from around the world.


Karol-Ann Canuel competes at the 2018 Road Cycling World Championships

Team Canada’s Karol-Ann Canuel competes in the women’s individual time trial at the Road Cycling World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

September 14-22: Wrestling – UWW World Wrestling Championships – Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

  • The six highest placed athletes in each of the 18 Olympic weight categories at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships will each qualify one Olympic quota place for their NOC.

September 16-22: Rhythmic Gymnastics – FIG World Championships – Baku, Azerbaijan

  • The top 16 finishers from the individual all-around final (maximum two per NOC) and the top five groups from the qualification round not already qualified will all earn Olympic spots for their countries.

September 22-29: Road Cycling (Individual Time Trial) – UCI Road World Championships – Yorkshire, Great Britain

  • Ten spots on the Olympic start line for the men’s and women’s individual time trials are up for grabs.

September 25-29: Canoe/Kayak Slalom – ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships – La Seu d’Urgell, Spain

  • The top 18 men’s and women’s K-1 paddlers and the top 11 men’s and women’s C-1 paddlers will all earn quota place for their NOCs, with a limit of one boat per country per event.


Keegan Pereira plays against New Zealand in a field hockey friendly at Rio 2016

Team Canada’s Keegan Pereira battles for the ball during a friendly match against New Zealand at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, August 1, 2016.
COC Photo by Jason Ransom

October 4-13: Artistic Gymnastics – FIG World Championships – Stuttgart, Germany 

  • The nine highest ranked teams (four athletes per team) of each gender not yet qualified will all earn spots in the Olympic team competitions. After finishing fourth in the first qualifying opportunity at the 2018 World Championships, the Canadian women are in prime position to join the United States, Russia and China in Tokyo. If a team doesn’t qualify for the Olympic Games, all hope is not lost for individual athletes. The top 12 eligible men and top 20 eligible women in the individual all-around will earn their own tickets to Tokyo along with the top three eligible gymnasts on each individual apparatus.

October 26-November 4: Field Hockey – Olympic Qualification Events – Locations TBD

  • There will be seven Olympic qualification events for each gender, with each event featuring two teams playing head-to-head twice. This will be the last chance for NOCs to secure their spots in Tokyo. In each matchup, the team with the highest aggregate score over the two games will qualify for Tokyo 2020.


Rosannagh Maclennan of Canada performs on the trampoline during women’s trampoline in the team all-around final at the 33rd Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

November 2-17: Baseball – WBSC Premier12 – Tokyo, Japan

  • Team Canada will be looking to punch their ticket to the Olympics by finishing the WBSC Premier12 as the top team from the Americas, but to do so, they will need to outshine countries such as the United States, Cuba and Mexico.

November 28-December 1: Trampoline – FIG World Championships – Tokyo, Japan

  • The FIG World Championships in Tokyo will be the first Olympic qualifying event as the eight highest ranked men and women in the individual events will secure a spot for their country to the Games, with a maximum of one athlete per NOC per event.

November 30-December 15: Handball (Women) – IHF Women’s World Championship 2019 – Tokyo, Japan

  • The winner of the IHF Women’s World Championship will automatically qualify for Tokyo.