Athletes, perhaps better than anyone, know just how important preparation and training are to achieve success. But, this weekend it will be the preparations of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee which are the focus of attention as they host the Aquece Rio International Taekwondo Tournament – the Olympic taekwondo test event.
The tournament, organized by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee and the Brazilian Taekwondo Federation (CBTKD), will be held on 20-21 February, at the Carioca Arena 1 in the Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro. Carioca Arena 3 will host Olympic taekwondo during Rio 2016; however, Carioca Arena 1 has been chosen to host the test event as it is fully complete and so will allow Rio 2016 to deliver the same world-class environment that athletes can expect during the Games. Carioca Arena 3 is 98% finished with just the very final installations to be completed.
A total of 49 athletes from 15 countries will compete in the test event across four weight categories – the -49kg and -57kg in the female weight categories and the -58kg and +80kg in the male weight categories. Rio 2016 invited the top 16 countries in each of the competing weight categories to compete in the event based on the November 2015 WTF Olympic Rankings
The Olympic Games host nation, Brazil, automatically received four (4) qualified athlete places. The four Host Country athletes shall be seeded in fourth place. Host Country athletes can be seeded higher if they held an Olympic ranking of 1 to 3 on 1 November 2015.
“This competition is the only opportunity for athletes and teams of all Olympic weight categories to orient themselves with the future Olympic venue, and all Rio 2016 schedules, systems and processes that will be followed for the Olympic Games.”, wrote the Taekwondo Manager of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, Mark Kauffman, on the event invitation.
The three main goals of these Test Events are to test the Field of Play (“FOP”) and all athlete facilities; train, coordinate and evaluate staff and contractors and volunteer performance in an event environment; and evaluate the performance of the technology systems and processes supporting all functional aspects.
The WTF is also working closely with Kaufmann and Rio 2016 on developing a sport presentation package which will increase engagement with fans inside and outside of the stadium during the Games. Sport presentation has been identified by the WTF as an area where there is room for further improvement following London 2012. As well as looking at bringing in taekwondo and para-taekwondo demonstrations between sessions, the WTF and Kaufmann are looking at innovative ways of leveraging Brazil’s rich and vibrant culture to keep fans engaged during breaks in play.