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[Kazan]Spain grabs two tickets for London 2012

– Joel Gonzalez, top in the WTF ranking, qualifies for Olympics

?? Openning ceremony of the European Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for London 2012.

Spain has earned two tickets for the London Olympics.

The European Qualification Tournament for the London 2012 Olympic Games kicked off on January 27th, in Kazan, Russia.

Joel Gonzalez (men’s -58kg) and Brigitte Yagüe (women’s -49kg) qualified for next year’s Olympics with a silver medal and a gold medal, respectively.

Russia, the host country, also grabbed two tickets for London, with Alexey Denisenko’s (men’s -58kg) gold medal and Kristina Kim’s (women’s -49kg) bronze medal.

The first day featured men’s -58kg and women’s -49kg categories, and the three finalists of each category grabbed a ticket for their country’s participation in the Olympics. 

From the 6 tickets for the London Olympics, the other two athletes that qualified their country were silver medalist Sumeyye Manz (Germany) in the women’s -49kg category and Sanli Uno (Sweden), who won a bronze medal in the men’s -58kg category. 

Silver medalist Joel Gonzalez, is world’s number 1 in the WTF men’s -58kg ranking, which makes him one of the strongest candidates of next year’s Olympic gold. Despite Joel Gonzalez’s unexpected disqualification at the round of 16 in the World Qualification Tournament in Baku last July, he was able to move one step closer to the Olympic gold by showing his true talent in Kazan. 

Brigitte Yagüe Enrique, another Spanish talent, did not fail to meet the expectations and won the gold medal after a tight match against Sumeyye Manz, that went to sudden death. 

This day’s competition was expected to begin at 10 o’clock, but was delayed 30 minutes due to problems caused by the strong sunlight coming in through the glass ceiling. Although the WTF Sports Department already requested to the Organizing Committee to solve this problem two days prior to the start, it was not solved until the same day.

There were no other major problems on the first day of the tournament, that ended with the opening ceremony at 5 p.m. and a demonstration performed by WTF’s Taekwondo Demo Team.

The European Qualification Tournament, in which 39 European countries are participating, is the last chance to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games, 

As for the referees, 30 WTF International Referees are participating. This is also the last selection of the IRs for the Olympics, who will be decided around mid February. The selected IRs will participate in a training course on February 28-29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The second day of the tournament will feature men’s -68kg, +80kg and women’s -57kg categories, and the tournament will go on until the 29th.

<First Day Results of the European Qualification Tournament for London 2012>

[Men’s -58kg]

1) Alexey Denisenko (Russia)
2) Joel Gonzalez Bonilla (Spain)
3) Sanli Uno (Sweden)

[Women’s -49kg]

1) Brigitte Yagüe Enrique (Spain)
2) Sumeyye Manz (Germany)
3) Kristina Kim (Russia)


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