New qualification rules for Rio 2016
The World Taekwondo Federation has established a Working Group aimed to produce the rules that will regulate its new star competition: The Grand Prix Series. This Working Group has already started to work on the regulations of the event, which is expected to celebrate its first edition at the end of 2013, and has also agreed a series of specifications regarding the Olympic qualification system that WTM is able to anticipate. However, WTM wants to point out that all this proposals are still subject to the approval of the WTF Council and the IOC, and they’re all based on a successful implementation of the Grand Prix Series.
Olympic qualification rules
The Grand Prix Working Group will suggest that the Top 6 athletes of every Olympic category in the WTF World Ranking as of December 2015 automatically earn a place for their NOC (National Olympic Committee) to be present at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. That means that none athlete will be able to guarantee a place for him/herself, as the NOC will mantain the right to choose among its fighters. Nevertheless, a minimum criteria will be applied for the selection of the substitutes in case the athlete who has earned the place isn’t finally chosen.
Like in the previous process, the remaining vacancies of each Olympic category (10) will be assigned through the Continental Qualification Tournaments (9) and the Wild Card invitations (1). Europe, Asia, America and Africa will obtain 2 places for each category and Oceania will earn 1, leaving just 1 more available place to be filled through the Wild Card invitation system.
However, there will be significant changes regarding the number of representatives that every nation will be allowed to include in the competition, as it could be increased to 8 fighters if the qualification is obtained through the ranking. It will remain unchanged to a maximum of 4 athletes if the qualification is achieved through the continental qualifications.
– As such, if a country obtains from 4 to 8 places through the ranking, it will not be able to earn more places through the continental qualifications. In case it achieves less than 4 places through the ranking, it will still have the chance to get more places through the continental qualifications, but never exceeding the total number of 4. Example: If Spain achieves only 1 place through the ranking, it will be able to get a maximum of 3 more places through the European Olympic qualifier, making a total representation of 4 athletes.
Grand Prix venue
The first edition of the Grand Prix Series is expected to be held at the end of the current year, with London (UK) leading the race to organize the event. The final decision on the organizing city, together with the previoulsy mentioned points, will have to be approved at the WTF Executive Council Meeting scheduled for next June 2013.
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