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Sports

IOC announces new deadline for Olympic qualification period

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday that the new deadline for the qualification period for the postponed Tokyo Olympics has been set to June 29, 2021. It further stated that International Federations (IF) of each sport retain full discretion for defining their own respective deadlines and pathways.

The Olympics was originally scheduled to be held from 24 July to 9 August this year. However, the fallout from the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic led to the IOC eventually announcing that the Tokyo Games will now be held from 23 July to 8 August, 2021.

“The new qualification period deadline is 29 June, 2021 and IFs can define their own qualification period deadlines should the deadline be prior to this date,” said the IOC in a letter addressed to the National Olympic Committees (NOC).

Athletes already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will need to be picked again by their respective National Olympic Committees to compete at the postponed Games in 2021, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.

The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last week by agreeing to postpone the Games by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 57% of the 11,000 athletes had already qualified for the Tokyo Games this year before qualification tournaments were scrapped as the virus spread in recent months.

Those athletes, the IOC said, would keep their qualification but would need to be re-selected for next year by their National Olympic Committee again as they represented a nation and not themselves.

“All of the qualifications that have been achieved by National Olympic Committees and individual athletes remain in place,” IOC Sports director Kit McConnell said in a conference call.

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Sports

Olympics 2020: IOC working to arrange July-August window for postponed 2021

International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-August window for the postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday.

John Coates, the IOC’s Coordination Commission chief for Tokyo, told the Yomiuri the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, slated to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August.

“We want to more or less finalise the dates in four weeks’ time,” the paper quoted Coates as saying.

Coates, who is also president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), said the summer scheduling would be dependent on avoiding clashes with the world championships for swimming (16 July-1 August) and athletics (6 August-15 August).

The first postponement in the Olympics’ 124-year modern history is expected to create a financial headache for the myriad businesses with a financial stake in the Games.World Athletics boss Sebastian Coe has said the world athletics championships in Eugene, Oregon could be moved back to 2022 if necessary. 

Coates told the newspaper the hope was to follow the same arrangements next year that had been planned for 2020, including holding the marathon in the northern city of Sapporo instead of Tokyo to escape the heat.

The AOC confirmed the Yomiuri report’s veracity and also told Reuters in a statement that Coates had “proffered a view but confirms a range of options are on the table for the IOC”.

The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world on Tuesday, agreeing to push back the Games by as much as a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

IOC president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday that “all options” were on the table for rescheduling, including holding the Games before the Japanese summer.

The sources reported on Wednesday that the organising committee estimates that the postponement will raise the total cost for the Games by 300bn yen ($2.7 billion) due to additional labour and other costs.

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Business

IOC becomes most profitable PSU amid soaring petrol and diesel rates

New Delhi:  Fuel retailer IOC has for the second year in a row beaten ONGC to become India’s most profitable state-owned company, raising questions over calls for the explorer to subsidise retailers amid soaring petrol and diesel rates.
While billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries retained the crown of being India’s most profitable company for the third year in a row, posting highest ever net profit of Rs 36,075 crore.

 

IOC, which has for decades been India’s biggest company by turnover, last week posted a record net profit of Rs 21,346 crore in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2018 (FY 2017-18), up 12% from Rs 19,106 crore in the last fiscal.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) yesterday reported its FY18 numbers – 11.4% rise in net profit to Rs 19,945 crore.

Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software services exporter, with a net profit of Rs 25,880 crore was the second most profitable company in the country.

ONGC was for long India’s most profitable company but lost the crown to private sector Reliance and TCS three years back. In fact, its profit was higher than the combined net profit of the three State-owned fuel retailers – IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) but now it is behind IOC.

For 2017-18, HPCL last week reported its highest ever net profit of Rs 6,357 crore on a turnover of Rs 2.43 lakh crore. BPCL earlier this week reported a net profit of Rs 7,919 crore for the fiscal.

The sustained profitability of the refining and marketing companies has led to some questioning the rationale of asking ONGC to subsidise fuel that IOC, BPCL and HPCL sell.

“Look at their profits. They don’t need any subsidy support,” said a senior ONGC official. “We are in the capital-intensive business of oil and gas exploration and production which has to be necessarily funded through internal accruals. Unlike refiners, we cannot get loans for risk E&P business,” he said.

ONGC is investing Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 35,000 crore annually, which cannot be sustained if it is again asked to subsidise fuel, an official said.

Upstream oil producers, ONGC and Oil India Ltd had until June 2015 provided for up to 40% of the annual fuel subsidy bill.

This they did this by way of providing discounts on crude sold to downstream refining and marketing companies, IOC, BPCL, and HPCL. This discount helped the retailers make good a part of the losses they incurred on selling petrol and diesel below cost.

The idea of upstream producers again subsidising fuel has been mooted after petrol and diesel prices earlier this week hit a record high of Rs 78.43 per litre and Rs 69.31 respectively. Rates have since marginally cooled but the threat still remains.