Battle in Istanbul Offers Taekwondo Fighters Berths to Rio
2016 European Olympic Qualification Tourney Kicks off in Turkey
For European taekwondo athletes, 2016 is opening with a bang: The European Continental Qualification Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey offers 16 top fighters berths to the Rio Olympic Games.
The single elimination system competition takes place over January 16-17 at the WOW Istanbul Hotels and Convention Center in the Turkish capital – which previously hosted the European Continental Qualification tournament prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Each European member national association can qualify a total of four athletes, two male and two female, for the Olympics at the event.
It is first of five WTF Continental Qualification Tournaments.
The Continental Qualification events qualify the second tranche of taekwondo athletes for the Olympics. Forty-eight elite fighters have already won quota places for Rio via ranking points accrued in previous tournaments, most notably, at the World Championships and at the top-level Grand Prix series, which finished last December.
Countries which have filled their full quotas via ranking cannot qualify via the Continental Qualification events unless they relinquish the previously obtained spots.
For this reason, Belgium, Germany and Russia cannot qualify any male athletes, as they have already filled those slots. Likewise, France, Great Britain, Croatia and Sweden cannot win any further female berths. Also, no country can win a berth in any weight category in which they already hold a spot.
After the Turkish battle, the WTF’s remaining Continental Unions -Africa, Pan America, Oceania and Asia – will be holding their respective Continental Qualification Tournaments in the first quarter of 2016. Each one offers 16 spots to the Rio Olympics, except for Oceania, which is allotted eight.
A total of 128 taekwondo athletes will compete in Rio. In addition to those berths won through ranking points and via the Continental Qualification events, there are eight additional Rio. Four host country places automatically go to Brazil, and four wild cards will be decided upon and distributed at the conclusion of the Continental Qualifications.
The dates and locations of the remaining Continental Qualifications Tournaments are:
- AfricanQualificationTournamentfor Rio 2016 OlympicGames
- Oceania Qualification Tournament for Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
- PanAm QualificationTournament for Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- AsianQualificationTournament for Rio 2016 Olympic Games
In total, the Continental Qualification will decide 72 berths. The Olympic rankings already assigned 48 spots, Brazil (host) gets 4 obligatory spots and to complete the list of athletes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will allocate four spaces as Tripartite Commission Places.