The inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will take place in Singapore this August and qualifying for the athletics competition begins this coming weekend.
Sydney, Australia will host the Oceania Area/Continental Youth Championships, 11-14 March. These will be followed on 3 and 4 April for the continents of South America and North America (except Canada). Africa will have competitions at five sites from 27 April through 22 May. Asia and Europe will both conduct their Continental Youth Championships the weekend of 21-23 May.
At the YOG a maximum of one athlete per National Olympic Committee (NOC) can compete in each individual event and no athlete can compete in more than one individual event. There will be 18 events for both boys and girls and 16 athletes per each individual event.
The list of events is as follows: 100m, 200m, 400m, 1000m, 3000m, 2000m Steeplechase, 110m (boys)/100m (girls) Hurdles, 400m Hurdles, Medley Relay, High Jump, Pole Vault, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Discus Throw, Hammer Throw, Javelin Throw, and 10,000m (boys)/5,000m (girls) Race Walk.
The Medley Relay will consist of legs of 100-200-300-400 metres. Athletes from the individual events can also compete in the relay.
Each of the five Olympic Areas (Africa, Europe, Oceania, Americas and Asia) is entitled to one representative per event. However, in recognition of the proficiency that some Areas have for particular events the representation distribution is weighted. For example the boy's 100 metres field of 16 will be 1 – Africa, 4 – Europe, 1 – Oceania, 7 – Americas and 3 – Asia. The most competitors any area will be allowed is 10 for Europe in the girls Hammer Throw.
An upper and lower age restriction will be in effect. Only athletes aged 16 or 17 on the final day of this year (that is born in 1993 or 1994) may compete.
Finally in addition to the 554 athletes selected from the above competitions, an additional 126 athletes may participate, regardless of performance, in the event of their choice, subject to certain exceptions. These allocations are to be decided by the International Olympic Committee in consultation with the NOCs and IAAF.
Marty Post for the IAAF