Significant changes in the qualifying system for Rio 2016

Not long ago, published what would be the qualifying system for Rio 2016.  However, the IOC requested the WTF the Qualification System for Rio 2016 in October 2013.  The final version is due to presentation and approval by the OIC in this month. ESPAÑOL

2014-02-04_73934x_rio-2016_The qualifying system that had not yet been implemented and which was approved by the WTF Executive Council meeting held in Lausanne, Switzerland in June 2013, was based primarily on the elimination of World Qualifier Tournaments for the Olympics, which would be replaced by the WTF Ranking; the first top ranked athletes in each division would qualify directly to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

The OIC Sport Department and the WTF Sport Department had a meeting on October 8, 2013 to discuss the draft of the Qualification System.  As a result of this meeting, the OIC proposed to review the draft before finalization.  The proposed discussion items are the following:

Allocation is to the athlete in principle (based on the WTF Ranking); NOC can replace the athlete provided that the replacing athlete is ranked within the top 20 ranked athletes in the Olympic Ranking anytime between January and May 2016.  According to IOC, this might cause problems the NOC and therefore they propose that the allocation must not be given to the athlete by name but to the NOC. Allocation to individual and replacement afterwards might cause legal dispute.

The final proposal is that the qualification place is awarded to the NOC, not the athlete, in December 2015.  Each NOC can use these places only with athletes ranked within the top 12 in the WTF Olympic Ranking.

Regarding reallocation of unused qualification places, the rule presently states that  reallocation  (if not used) must be made to the next highest ranked athlete in the same division based on the WTF Olympic Ranking of the pertinent month when relinquishment has been confirmed to the WTF.  The OIC, at this respect, considers that time is not consistent, and proposes that qualification places obtained through ranking shall be reallocated (if not used) to the next highest ranked athlete in the same division based on the WTF Olympic Ranking of December 2015.

In relation to the host country places, the present rule says that if the host country has qualified places through Olympic Ranking, the number of automatic places shall be reduced; the available places shall be reallocated to the next best ranked athletes of the pertinent division based on the WTF Olympic ranking of December 2015.

The OIC considers that the reallocation of available places due to qualification of the host country through ranking shall be made to Wild Cards.

With this series of amendments, the International Olympic Committee seeks to minimize the small mistakes that could lead to major conflicts or simplify regulations that sometimes are difficult to understand.


Claudio Aranda, Exclusive

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Unimpressed the IOC would suggest this amendment to prevent scandals if (when…) NOCs make appalling decisions to protect their own interests, which is by the way at odds with the Olympic charter and its purported requirement not to discriminate against individual athletes. It appears that the WTF has amended the amendment to try mitigate the self serving corporate intervention by the IOC by requiring any ‘replacement’ athletes to be ranked in the top 12. The IOC obviously doesn’t know much about the principles sports men and women hold, or the law, or the history of sport. In 1973 tennis players boycotted Wimbledon en mass in solidarity with a player being treated like a commodity by his national federation. These days national federations are, rightly, secondary to the players. Taekwondo as a sport will have to go the same way and become a player centric sport, not one stuck in the mire of little national federation fiefdoms. It can get there the easy way or the hard way. The IOC, through ignorance more than design I expect, seems intent on forcing the later.