Both table tennis finalists at Minsk 2019 will earn Olympic qualification places ©Getty Images

Officials have confirmed that there will be eight sports linked with Olympic qualifying at the second European Games that get underway here in Minsk tomorrow – each offering a different form of pathway to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Winners of the 11 shooting events – across the rifle, pistol and shotgun categories – will earn automatic Olympic places.

Finalists in the table tennis will also earn Tokyo places – contrasting with the Baku 2015 Games where qualification for Rio 2016 was only on offer to the gold medallists.

For the other six sports – archery, athletics, karate, cycling, badminton and judo – calculations of Olympic qualifying are more complex.

Two sports originally on the list have dropped off.

Although the boxing here will double as the sport's European Championships, the vexed nature of its representation at international federation level means that no Olympic qualifying options can be offered.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stripped the International Boxing Association of the right to organise the Tokyo 2020 competition and is instead planning its own qualification pathway.

Canoe sprint, which the International Canoe Federation (ICF) agreed should have Olympic qualification places on offer at these Games, learned otherwise in August when the IOC withdrew that option from Minsk 2019.

Canoe sprint has dropped from the list of sports at the Minsk 2019 European Games offering an Olympic qualification pathway ©Getty Images
Canoe sprint has dropped from the list of sports at the Minsk 2019 European Games offering an Olympic qualification pathway ©Getty Images

It is believed the decision was based on the nature of the ICF qualification system, which states that athletes who have earned quota places cannot compete in any further Olympic qualification competitions.

This means qualifiers at the European Games would not be able to compete in the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged in Hungary.

Even it that ruling was not insisted upon by the ICF, there could still be problems if already-qualified athletes knocked out those still seeking qualification spots at the World Championships, with the latter then having potential recourse to challenge the situation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

It is understood that the ICF decided in consultation with the IOC that, given previous instances when athletes and countries had challenged their qualification procedures at CAS, it was best and simplest to make the World Championships the pathway to the Olympics.

The fact that other continental federations, such Panam Sports, are also seeking Olympic qualification options is threatening to make the situation still more difficult.

Two other Olympic sports, gymnastics and wrestling, were precluded from having Games qualification possibilities here as their qualifying period only starts in October.