Will the Lopez siblings make history competing in their second Olympics together?
|?? The Lopez siblings in 2009 Cophenhagen WTF World Taekwondo Championship. From left, Steven, Mark, Jean, Diana.|
The chances that the threeTaekwondo siblings will participate together in the U.S. Team for the second time in a row in Olympics are now higher.
The reason is that Mark, the youngest of the Lopez family, won at the USA Taekwondo Olympic Trials held on January 13th in Colorado Springs, making it to the Olympic Trials finals in March.
Mark Lopez (-68kg) won the first match against Jaysen Ishida but lost in his second match against James Howe 1-2 and went to the elimination bracket, reaching after two wins the finals for a rematch with Howe. Lopez needed two consecutive wins and Howe needed one. Lopez won by 5-3 and 2-1 and earned a spot at the Olympic Trials Finals.
After the lost match, Beijing 2008 Silver medalist Mark Lopez evaluated his performance: “I swayed away from my original gameplan. I was overly aggressive instead of being calm and collected. Once I got into my rhythm it was smooth sailing.”
Another Olympic Silver medalist (Athens 2004), Nia Abdallah, also reached the finals at the USA Taekwondo Olympic Trials in Colorado Springs and qualified for the March finals.
Abdallah (female -67kg) also lost her second match and dropped to the elimination bracket. However, she also fought to win the rest of the matches and qualify for the finals.
The USA Taekwondo Olympic Trials Finals will be held also in Colorado Springs, on March 10-11. The U.S.divisions to participate in London 2012 are male -68kg, -80kg and female -57kg and -67kg. The four athletes who will form the US Team will be decided in the finals. The top seed in each weight class will need just one victory while the no. 2 seed will require two straight wins.
*Olympic Trials Finals Matchups (March 10-11 in Colorado Springs)
– Male -68kg
#1 Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) vs. #2 Mark Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas)
– Male -80kg
#1 Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) vs. #2 TJ Curry (El Sobrante, Calif.)
– Female -57kg
#1 Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) vs. #2 Danielle Holmquist (Miami, Fla.)
– Female -67kg
#1 Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) vs. #2 NiaAbdallah (Houston, Texas)