Olympics-Artistic swimming qualifier to be held outside Japan in June

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XVIII Pan American Games - Lima 2019

(Reuters) - An Olympic artistic swimming qualifier scheduled for Tokyo in May will now be held outside Japan in June at a location to be decided, world body FINA said on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted preparations for the start of the 2020 Summer Games, already postponed by a year, in July.

FINA said in a statement that the changes were due in part to "challenges related to the international calendar and the necessary adaptation of the venue to the Olympic Games’ operations in mid-May".

An operational test event will be held in Tokyo in July.

A marathon swimming qualifier that was scheduled for Fukuoka in late May has already been moved to Setubal, in Portugal, in June.

A diving qualifier and test event will go ahead in Tokyo in May, however.

The Tokyo Games are set to run from July 23 to Aug. 8.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)