Tennis: ITF Updates Qualified List Again

With several late withdrawals in tennis the list of qualified athletes has changed again. In total 56 nations will send at least one athlete. As a reminder mixed doubles will be made up of athletes which have qualified in other events.

 

Athletes by Nations

  • United States – 11
  • France – 9
  • Spain – 9
  • Germany – 8
  • Russia – 8
  • Australia – 7
  • Brazil – 7
  • Czech Republic – 7
  • Great Britain – 7
  • Italy – 7
  • Poland – 7
  • Ukraine – 7
  • Argentina – 6
  • Japan – 6
  • Romania – 6
  • Serbia – 6
  • China – 5
  • Chinese Taipei – 5
  • Canada – 4
  • Croatia – 4
  • India – 4
  • Slovakia – 4
  • Belgium – 3
  • Colombia – 3
  • Netherlands – 3
  • Switzerland – 3
  • Austria – 2
  • Belarus – 2
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – 2
  • Bulgaria – 2
  • Chile – 2
  • Hungary – 2
  • Kazakhstan – 2
  • Mexico – 2
  • New Zealand – 2
  • Portugal – 2
  • Thailand – 2
  • Tunisia – 2
  • Barbados – 1
  • Denmark – 1
  • Dominican Republic – 1
  • Georgia – 1
  • Israel – 1
  • Latvia – 1
  • Liechtenstein – 1
  • Lithuania – 1
  • Luxembourg – 1
  • Moldova – 1
  • Montenegro – 1
  • Paraguay – 1
  • Puerto Rico – 1
  • Slovenia – 1
  • Sweden – 1
  • Turkey – 1
  • Uruguay – 1
  • Uzbekistan – 1

 

Reference

Russia: Sport Federations Removed Athletes From Result of McLaren Report

With the publication of the McLaren Report on the accusation of government sponsored doping from Russia the IOC has ruled that Russia will not be banned from the 2016 Olympic Games, but gave each sport federation a set of rules to follow and remove athletes should they not meet the standards. The notable rules include the removal of all athletes implicated in the report, the removal of athletes whom have doped in the past and the removal of athletes which have not satisfied testing standards after excluding the results from the Moscow lab. While most sports did not make any changes others have.

Before the report was released athletics had already banned all of Russia’s athletes, with the exception of ones which have been out of the Russian testing system long enough. Currently only Darya Klishina has satisfied IAAF’s standard, she will compete in the women’s long jump. The other 67 athletes chosen by Russia did not make the standard. Yuliya Stepanova was also eligible to compete, but due to her role in exposing the Russian doping scandal she currently has not been selected to compete.

Besides athletics the biggest loss of athlete quotas comes from rowing. Originally Russia qualified five boats with 28 athletes (including 2 coxswains). In total 20 athletes were found to not have sufficient testing, causing World Rowing to remove four boats from Russia; the men’s lightweight fours, men’s eights, women’s lightweight double sculls and women’s eights. Russia was allowed to make a team to compete in the men’s fours out of the remaining six rowers; the two coxswains were technically eligible though for obvious reasons were not going to be selected. The reallocated boats went to Australia (women’s eights), Greece (men’s lightweight fours) and Italy (men’s eights and women’s lightweight double sculls).

Overall only one sport suffered a full banned. Due to multiple athletes getting caught doping the International Weightlifting Federation has completely banned Russia. Earlier Russia lost one man and one woman quota due to excess doping violations, but now they have lost the remaining eight (5 men, 3 women) quotas. The women’s quotas have been reallocated to Albania, Georgia and Moldova while the men’s quotas have been reallocated to Belgium, Croatia, El Salvador, Mongolia and Serbia.

In aquatics only swimmers were removed. Four athletes were removed due to having prior doping violations while three more were removed due to being implicated into the report. One of these athletes was open water swimmer Anastasia Krapivina. This means her quota has been reallocated to Hungary’s Anna Olasz.

The International Canoeing Federation announced five athletes scheduled to compete at the 2016 Olympics will be removed due to their involvement in the report. This has caused Russia to lose athlete quotas in five boats; men’s K2 200m, men’s C1 200m, men’s C2 1000m, women’s K1 200m and women’s K2 500m. The quotas have been reallocated to Austria (women’s K2 500m), Germany (women’s K1 200m), Iran (men’s C1 200m) and Sweden (men’s K2 200m). The men’s C2 1000m was not reallocated. The additional boat in the women’s K1 500m which did not use an athlete quota has also been removed.

Edit: Sweden has declined the quota, it has been reallocated to Canada

In cycling six athletes were withdrawn, three due to previous doping violations and three others whom were implicated in the report. Currently the UCI has not named the athletes or any potential change in the quotas.

In modern pentathlon Maksim Kustov and alternate Ilia Frolov were connected in the report and have been excluded. The quota was reallocated to Latvia’s Ruslan Nakonechnyi.

United World Wrestling removed one wrestler due to a prior doping violation. Viktor Lebedev has been removed from his event, men’s freestyle -57kg. The quota was reallocated to Belarus.

In sailing one athlete, in the men’s 470 was connected to the report and has been removed. However, Russia has been given an opportunity to make a late replacement.

In total, including athletics the Russian team has shrank by 122 athletes. While most of them were removed due to previous doping offenses or being included in the report others have been excluded due to being teammates of someone who has doped.

 

Net Athlete Quotas by Nations

  • Italy – 11
  • Australia – 9
  • Greece – 4
  • Austria – 2
  • Canada – 2
  • Albania – 1
  • Belarus – 1
  • Belgium – 1
  • Croatia – 1
  • El Salvador – 1
  • Georgia – 1
  • Germany – 1
  • Hungary – 1
  • Iran – 1
  • Latvia – 1
  • Moldova – 1
  • Mongolia – 1
  • Serbia – 1
  • Russia – -122

 

Note: Possible cycling reallocations have yet to be announced.

 

References

Team Preview: Slovenia

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Slovenia is a nation located in Southern Central Europe. The nation made its first Summer Olympics appearance as an independent nation in 1992. Before Slovenia participated under the Austrian flag during the 1912 Olympics and then under Yugoslavia from 1920 to 1988. As an independent nation Slovenia has won a total of 19 medals at the Summer Olympics across seven sports. 2012 saw Slovenia finish with four medals, including one gold, just one medal shy from its record at the 2008 Olympics. Overall Slovenia will be looking at having a similar performance with potential medals coming from sports such as canoeing and judo.

While Slovenia has only won a single medal in canoeing in its history (silver in 1996) they could potentially challenge for multiple medals in Rio. Leading the group is 2015 World Championship silver medalist Benjamin Savsek whom will compete in his second Olympics in the men’s C1 slalom. In the men’s K1 slalom Peter Kauzer will compete in his third Olympics with hopes of improving his sixth place finish in 2012. Also returning from 2012 are 2016 European Championship silver medalists Luka Bozic and Saso Taljat whom will compete in the men’s C2 slalom. Rounding out the slalom team is 2016 European Championship silver medalist Ursa Kragelj whom will compete in the women’s K1 slalom. In sprint canoe Slovenia will compete with one athlete, 2008 and 2012 Olympian Spela Ponomarenko whom will compete in the women’s K1 200m and 500m.

Slovenia will also send a strong judo team. The team will be led by 2015 World Championship gold medalist Tina Trstenjak in the women’s -63kg. Also on the team is 2015 World Championship silver medalist Anamari Velensek whom will compete in her second Olympics in the women’s -78kg. Competing in his third Olympics is 2015 European Games bronze medalist Rok Draksic in the men’s -73kg. Completing the team are Adrian Gomboc in the men’s -66kg and Mihael Zgank in the men’s -90kg.

In team sports Slovenia will be competing in the men’s handball tournament. This will be the team’s third appearance to the Olympics as an independent nation. While they haven’t reached the heights of the former Yugoslavia team recently Slovenia has produced some great results. At the 2013 World Championship they finished in fourth while at the 2015 World Championship they reached the quarter-final. While not a favourite to win a medal Slovenia could be considered a dark horse going into the tournament.

The only returning Olympic medalist comes from sailing where Vasilij Zbogar will compete in the men’s Finn in his fifth Olympics. Zbogar was the 2004 bronze and 2008 silver medalist in the men’s laser. For the 2012 Olympics he switched to the Finn class and finished in sixth. Recently he won bronze at the 2015 World Championship and will be looking to add to his collection. Joining him will be 2012 Olympian Tina Mrak whom will join up with a new partner, Veronika Macarol in the women’s 470.

The swimming team will be anchored by veteran Anja Klinar whom will be competing in her fourth Olympics. She will compete in the women’s 400m freestyle, 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley. In addition she will also compete in the 4x200m freestyle relay along with Tjasa Oder, Tjasa Pintar and Janja Segel. Oder, a 2012 Olympian and 2016 European Championship bronze medalist will also compete in the women’s 800m freestyle while Damir Dugonjic whom will compete in his third Olympics will compete in the men’s 100m breaststroke. Other returning athletes include 2012 Olympians Tjasa Vozel (women’s 100m breaststroke) and Robert Zbogar (men’s 200m butterfly). Also competing are Anze Tavcar (men’s 100m freestyle) and Martin Bau (men’s 1500m freestyle) and outside of the pool Spela Perse will compete in the women’s 10km open water.

In athletics Slovenia will be sending a relative young team. The veteran of the group is 2008 and 2012 Olympian Martina Ratej whom will compete in the women’s javelin. Other returning athletes include 2008 Olympian Sabina Viet (women’s 200m) and 2012 Olympian Tina Sutej (women’s pole vault). Everyone else will be competing in their first Olympics though Zan Rudolf (men’s 800m) competed at the 2010 Youth Olympics. The remaining members of the team include Marusa Cernjul (women’s high jump), Daneja Grandovec (women’s marathon), Luka Janezic (men’s 400m), Anton Kosmac (men’s marathon), Maja Mihalinec (women’s 200m) and Robert Renner (men’s pole vault).

Slovenia will compete in two disciplines in cycling. On the road 2008 Olympian Simon Spilak will get to compete in his second Olympics in the men’s road race. Joining him are Matej Mohoric, Jan Polanc and Primoz Roglic. Roglic will also compete in the men’s time trial. In the women’s road race Polona Batagelj will compete in her second Olympics. In mountain biking 2012 Olympian Tanja Zakelj will compete in the women’s cross-country.

Returning athletes include shooters Ziva Dvorsak (women’s 10m air rifle, 50m rifle 3 positions) and Bostjan Macek (men’s trap) whom are competing in their second Olympics, table tennis player Bojan Tokic (men’s singles) will participate in his third Olympics while triathlete Mateja Simic (women’s race) will participate in her second. Slovenia will also compete in artistic gymnastics (Teja Belak, women’s events).

Overall Slovenia will compete with 59 athletes in 11 sports. This will be Slovenia’s smallest delegation of athletes at a Summer Olympics since 1996.

Team Preview: Finland

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Finland is a European nation located within Scandinavia. The nation made its Summer Olympic debut in 1908 had has participated in every Olympic games since, including hosting the 1952 Summer Games. In the early games Finland was considered to be a top 10 nation at the Summer Olympics, though they have fallen down in rankings with the last time they won more than 10 medals being in 1984. In total Finland has won 302 medals at the Summer Olympics with the majority being won in athletics and wrestling. While the nation isn’t expected to return to its historic heights it is expected to win a handful of medals.

The athletics team will be led by two Olympic medalists in the men’s javelin. 2008 bronze medalist Tero Pitkamaki and 2012 bronze medalist Antii Ruuskanen will be looking to add an additional medal to their collection. Pitkamaki will be competing in his fourth Olympics and has recently won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championship. For Ruuskanen this will be his second Olympics and at the 2015 World Championship he placed in fifth. Joining them in the men’s javelin is 2012 Olympian Ari Mannio. Finland will be sending a full men’s 50km race walk team with Aleksi Ojala, Veli-Matti Partanen and Jarkko Kinnunen whom will be making his third Olympic appearance. Also returning to the Olympics are Sandra Eriksson (women’s 3000m steeplechase), Minna Nikkanen (women’s pole vault), David Soderberg (men’s hammer) and Sanni Utriainen (women’s javelin). The rest of the team is made up of Anne-Mari Hyrylainen (women’s marathon), Kristiina Makela (women’s triple jump), Oskari Moro (men’s 400m hurdles), Wilma Murto (women’s pole vault), Nooralotta Neziri (women’s 100m hurdles) and Linda Sandblom (women’s high jump).

Finland will be sending a large sailing team with 8 athletes competing in six boats. Leading the group is 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tuuli Petaja-Siren whom will compete in her third Olympics in the women’s RS:X. Finland’s best chance at winning a medal in sailing will likely come from Tuula Tenkanen whom will compete in the women’s laser radial. A 2008 Olympian she has finished in fourth at the 2014 and 2015 World Championship. In the men’s 470 the Lindgren brothers will once again represent Finland. For Niklas this will be his third Olympics while for Joonas this will be his second. The two will be hopeful to better their performance at the 2015 World Championship where they finished in fifth. Also competing are Tapio Nirkko whom will compete in his third Olympics in the men’s finn, Kaarle Tapper whom will compete in the men’s laser and Camilla Cedercreutz and Noora Ruskola whom will compete together in the women’s 49erFX.

One of Finland’s better chances at winning a medal will come in wrestling through Petra Olli whom will compete in the women’s -58kg freestyle. She formally competed at the 2010 Youth Olympics, winning the bronze medal, but has more recently won silver at the 2015 World Championship and gold at the 2016 European Championship, though that was in the -60kg event. Joining her is 2012 Olympian Rami Hietaniemi whom will compete in the men’s -84kg Greco-Roman where he lost in the bronze medal match at the 2015 World Championship while Tero Valimaki will compete in the men’s -66kg Greco-Roman.

The Finnish swimming team will be made up of athletes mostly returning to their second Olympics; this include; Matias Koski (men’s 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle), Jenna Laukkanen (women’s 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke), Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (men’s 50m freestyle) and Matti Mattsson (men’s 200m breaststroke). Making their Olympic debut are Mimosa Jallow (women’s 100m backstroke) and Tanja Kylliainen (women’s 200m IM). Finland will also send a women’s 4x100m medley relay which will consist of Jallow, Laukkanen, Emilia Pikkarainen and Hanna-Maria Seppala. As a team they won the bronze medal at the 2016 European Championship. For Pikkarainen, this will be her third Olympics while for Seppala, she will compete in an impressive fifth Olympics.

In shooting Finland will be represented by 2008 Olympic gold medalist Satu Makela-Nummela whom will compete in her third Olympics in the women’s trap. While she is not expected to medal she has placed good results of the past year including several top 10 finishes at the World Cup events and a 5th place finish at the 2015 European Games. Joining her is Vesa Tornroos whom will compete in the men’s trap.

Finland will be making its return in boxing where it competed in 2000. They will be represented by Mira Potkonen in the women’s lightweight (-60kg). Also returning since 2000 is equestrian eventing where Elmo Jankari will compete in the individual event on his horse Duchess Desiree.

Returning for their second Olympics is Suvi Mikkonen In taekwondo, whom will compete in the women’s -57kg category.

In archery Finland will be represented by two athletes; Samuli Piippo in the men’s recurve and Taru Kuoppa in the women’s recurve. While in artistic gymnastics Finland will be represented by Oskar Kirmes and in rhythmic gymnastics Finland will compete in the individual event via Ekaterina Volkova.

With golf returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 Finland will send a team of four athletes. The team will be led by Mikko Ilonen, winner of five European Tour titles. Joining him in the men’s individual will be Roppe Kakko whom won his first European Tour title in 2015. The women’s individual will have Ursula Wikstrom and Noora Tamminen.

Finland will also compete in badminton (Nanna Vainio, women’s singles), cycling (Lotta Lepisto, women’s road race), judo (Juho Reinvall, men’s -60kg), table tennis (Benedek Olah, men’s singles) and weightlifting (Miiko Tokola, men’s -85kg and Anni Vuohijoki, women’s -63kg).

Overall Finland will send 54 athletes to compete in 16 sports. This marks a slight decrease of the number of athletes relative to 2012 (56 athletes).

Team Preview: Azerbaijan

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Azerbaijan is a nation found in the Transcaucasian region. After gaining independence from the Soviet Union the nation made its Summer Olympic debut in 1996 and has competed ever since. The nation has won an Olympic medal at every Olympics it has participated with a total of 26 medals, 14 of them won in the sport of wrestling. Azerbaijan will be hoping to set a new total medals record which was set in 2012 where they won 10. For this to occur Azerbaijan will be looking to have a good performance in the combat sports, particularly wrestling.

Overall Azerbaijan will send a team of 14 athletes in wrestling, including medalists from large events and a complete men’s freestyle team. In total six athletes will be defending their Olympic medals; 2012 gold medalist Toghrul Asgarov (men’s freestyle -65kg), 2012 gold medalist Sharif Sharifov (men’s freestyle -86kg), 2008 and 2012 silver medalist Rovshan Bayramov (men’s Greco-Roman -59kg), 2008 and 2012 bronze medalist Khetag Gazyumov (men’s freestyle -97kg), 2012 bronze medalist Yuliya Ratkevic (women’s freestyle -58kg) and 2008 bronze and 2012 silver medalist Mariya Stadnik (women’s freestyle -48kg). The athletes for the most part are still in top tier shape and could all challenge for a medal. For example Asgarov is the 2015 European Games gold medalist, Bayramov has won silver at the 2015 World Championship, Gazyumov has won bronze at the 2015 World Championship, Ratkevic has also won bronze at the 2015 World Championship and Stadnik is the silver medal winner at the 2015 World Championship.

Other potential medal winners in wrestling include 2015 World Championship gold medalists Haji Aliyev (men’s freestyle -57kg) and Rasul Chunayev (men’s Greco-Roman -66kg). Both Aliyev and Chunayev will be competing outside of their normal weight class due to the event not existing in the Olympics. Other 2015 World Championship medalists include silver medalist and 2012 Olympian Jamaladdin Magomedov (men’s freestyle -125kg) and bronze medalist Saman Tahmasebi (men’s Greco-Roman -85kg) who will compete in his third Olympics. Also competing are 2012 Olympian and 2016 European Championship silver medalist Jabrayil Hasanov (men’s freestyle -74kg), 2015 European Games gold medalist Elvin Mursaliyev (men’s Greco-Roman -75kg), Sabah Shariati (men’s Greco-Roman -130kg) and Anzhela Dorogan (women’s freestyle -53kg).

Azerbaijan will also be hoping to win multiple medals in boxing as they will send a complete men’s team and one woman. The team will be led by 2015 World Championship gold medalist Elvin Mamishzada whom will compete in his second Olympics in the men’s flyweight. Other World Championship medalists competing for Azerbaijan include silver medalist Albert Slimov (men’s lightweight) whom will compete in his second Olympics after competing for Russia in 2008 and bronze medalists Parviz Baghirov and Abdulkadir Abdullayev will compete in the men’s welterweight and men’s heavyweight respectively. Returning Olympic medalists include 2012 bronze medalists Teymur Mammadov (men’s light heavyweight) and Magomedrasul Majidov (men’s super heavyweight). Other competitors include 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist Rufat Huseynov (men’s light flyweight), 2013 World Championship gold medalist Javid Chalabiyev (men’s bantamweight), Lorenzo Sotomayor (men’s light welterweight), Kamran Shakhsuvarly (men’s middleweight) and 2015 European Games bronze medalist Yana Alekseevna (women’s lightweight).

Azerbaijan will compete with the maximum team in taekwondo after qualifying two men and two women. The team will be led by -87kg 2015 World Championship gold medalist Radik Isayev who qualified in the +80kg weight category as one of the highest ranked athletes. 2012 Olympian Farida Azizova makes her return in the women’s -67kg. She is a silver and bronze medalist at the 2015 European Games and 2013 World Championship respectively. The rest of the team is made up of 2015 European Games gold medalist Milad Beigi in the men’s -80kg and 2015 European Games bronze medalist Patimat Abakarova whom will compete in the women’s -49kg.

In judo Azerbaijan will also send a strong team. 2016 European Championship gold medalist Rustam Orujov will compete in his second Olympics in the men’s -73kg. Also a medalist at the 2016 European Championship is silver medalist Orkhan Safarov whom will compete in the men’s -60kg. The men’s -100kg will feature 2012 Olympian and 2014 European Championship silver medalist Elmar Gasimov. The other members of the team include Nijat Shikhalizade (men’s -66kg), Mammadali Mehdiyev (men’s -90kg) and Ushangi Kakauri (men’s +100kg).

In artistic gymnastics Azerbaijan will be represented by two athletes. Oleg Stepko will be making his second Olympic appearance and first as an athlete from Azerbaijan, he represented Ukraine in 2012. He won the bronze medal in the pommel horse at the 2015 World Championship and won four individual medals at the 2015 European Games including gold on the pommel horse and silver on the individual all-around. He will be joined by Petro Pakhnyuk in the men’s events. In rhythmic gymnastics Azerbaijan will be represented by 2015 European Games ribbon silver medalist Marina Durunda whom will compete in the individual all-around event.

In boating sports Azerbaijan will compete in canoeing and rowing. Canoeing will be led by a veteran presence, Inna Osypenko-Radomska in the women’s K1 200m and K1 500m. Osypenko-Radomska is a four-time Olympic medalist including winning gold in 2008. This will be her fifth Olympics though first under the Azerbaijan flag, she competed for Ukraine until 2014. Another former Ukrainian and now current athlete from Azerbaijan is Valentin Demyaneko. Demyaneko however, has mostly competed for Azerbaijan, competing in the 2012 Olympics, winning three World Championship gold medals and winning silver at the 2015 European Games. In the canoe slalom Azerbaijan will compete with Jure Meglic in the men’s K1 slalom.

In rowing Azerbaijan will send one boat. 2012 Olympian Aleksandar Aleksandrov will move up a boat size and will compete in the men’s double sculls with Boris Yotov. Together they have won silver at the 2014 World Championship.

In athletics Azerbaijan will send a team of four athletes. The team will be led by 2012 Ukrainian Olympian Hanna Skydan in the women’s hammer throw. As an Azerbaijan athlete she has won gold at the 2015 Universiade Games. She will be joined by 2015 European Junior Championship gold medalist Nazim Babyev in the triple jump, 2012 Olympian Hayle Ibrahimov will compete in the men’s 5000 and Evans Kiplagat in the men’s marathon.

The cycling team for Azerbaijan will compete in two disciplines. On the track Olga Panarina will compete in the women’s sprint and keirin. This will be her second Olympics and first as an athlete from Azerbaijan, she competed for Belarus in 2012. In road cycling Azerbaijan will be represented by Maksym Averin in the men’s road race and Olena Pavlukhina in the women’s road race.

Azerbaijan will be making its Olympic debut in archery (Olga Senyuk, women’s individual) and triathlon (Rostyslav Pevtsov, men’s race). Other sports Azerbaijan will compete include fencer Sabina Mikina whom will be competing in her second Olympics in the women’s sabre and sport shooter Ruslan Lunev whom will compete in men’s 10m air pistol and 25m rapid fire pistol. In swimming two athletes will compete Fatima Alkaramova (women’s 100m freestyle) and Boris Kirillov (men’s 200m backstroke).

Overall Azerbaijan will compete with 56 athletes in 14 sports. This will be the largest ever delegation of athletes Azerbaijan have ever sent.

Team Preview: Bulgaria

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Bulgaria is located within Eastern Europe. Bulgaria was one of the original 14 nations to have participated at the 1896 Olympics. After that their participation was initially sparse with them only participating at the 1924, 1928 and 1936 Olympics. At the 1952 Olympics and onwards Bulgaria participated at every Olympics with the exception of the Soviet led boycott of 1984. Historically Bulgaria was a fairly strong nation at the Olympics as they posted top 10 finishes during the 1970s and 80s. In total they have won 214 medals at the Summer Olympics with wrestling and weightlifting being their best sports. However as the 90s came their performance diminished from easily breaking double digits to struggling to win medals. In 2012 the nation finished with two medals and failed to win a gold medal for the first time since 1952. Overall their medal prospects do not look good, especially after their weightlifting team was banned due to a doping scandal.

Bulgaria’s best chance at winning a medal will likely come in rhythmic gymnastics. In the team event Bulgaria won a gold medal at the 2014 World Championship and followed it with a silver medal at the 2015 World Championship. Four members from those teams will compete; Renata Kamberova, Mihaela Maevska, Tsvetelina Naydenova and Hristiana Todorova. The fifth member will be Lyubomira Kazanova as she will replace Tsvetlina Stoyanova whom suffered a fall from a six story building. In the individual all-around event Bulgaria will be represented by Neviana Vladinova.

In wrestling Bulgaria will send a team of 11 athletes in hopes to win a medal. The team will be led by 2015 World Championship bronze medalists Vladimir Dubov in the men’s freestyle -57kg and Taybe Yusein in the women’s freestyle -63kg. Also competing are 2016 European bronze medalists Daniel Aleksandrov (men’s Greco-Roman -75kg), Elitsa Yankova (women’s freestyle -48kg) and Mimi Hristova (women’s freestyle -58kg). The only returning Olympian in wrestling will be Elis Guri (men’s Greco-Roman -98kg) whom will compete in his third Olympics, second as an athlete from Bulgaria (he competed for Albania in 2008). Completing the team are Borislav Novachlov (men’s freestyle -65kg), Georgi Ivanov (men’s freestyle -74kg), Mihail Ganev (men’s freestyle -86kg), Dimitar Kumchev (men’s freestyle -125kg) and Nikolay Bayryakov (men’s Greco-Roman -85kg).

Another potential chance at winning a medal is in judo where Ivaylo Ivanov leads the two person team in the men’s -81kg. Ivanov has won one Grand Slam event in 2015 and followed it up with multiple medals in Grand Slams during the 2016 season. Joining him will be Yanislav Gerchev whom will compete in the men’s -60kg.

In shooting Bulgaria will compete with three athletes. 2015 European Championship gold medalist Anton Rizov will compete in his second Olympics in men’s 10m air rifle, 50m rifle 3 positions and 50m rifle prone. Joining him in her second Olympics is 2016 European Championship silver medalist Antoaneta Boneva whom will compete in the women’s 10m air pistol and 25m pistol. Rounding out the group will be Samuil Donkov in the men’s 10m air pistol and 50m pistol.

Bulgaria will send a sizable athletics team led by Gabriela Petrova in the women’s triple jump. Petrova finished fourth at the 2015 World Championship. Another athlete to watch would be Mirela Demireva whom will compete in the women’s high jump. One of the veterans of the group will be Ivet Lalova-Collio. She will be competing in her fourth Olympics in the women’s 100m and 200m and could push for a repeat the final appearance she made in the 200m at the 2015 World Championship. Making his third Olympic appearance will be Georgi Ivanov in the men’s shot put. Other 2012 returning athletes include Silvia Danekova (women’s 3000m steeplechase) and 2015 European Indoor Championship bronze medalist Radoslava Mavrodieva (women’s shot put). Other competing athletes include Rumen Dimitrov (men’s triple jump), Tihomir Ivanov (men’s high jump), Militsa Mircheva (women’s marathon), Mitko Tsenov (men’s 3000m steeplechase) and 2010 Youth Olympics bronze medalist Georgi Tsonov (men’s triple jump)

In boating events Bulgaria will compete in two sports. In canoeing the team will be led by 2014 World Championship silver medalist Miroslav Kirchev in the men’s K1 1000m. He will be joined by Angel Kodinov in the men’s C1 1000m. In rowing Bulgaria will send one boat; Georgi Bozhilov and Kristian Vasilev will compete in the men’s double sculls.

In tennis Bulgaria will be represented by 2012 Olympian Grigor Dimitrov in the men’s singles. Dimitrov became the first player from Bulgaria to break into the top 10 in the world rankings. His best performance was reaching the semi-final at the 2014 Wimbledon Open. He will be joined by Tsvetana Pironkova whom will compete in the women’s singles. Recently Pironkova reached the quarter-final at the 2016 French Open.

Other returning athletes include swimmers Ventsislav Aydarski and Nina Rangelova. Aydarski will compete in his second Olympics in the men’s 10km open water while Rangelova will compete in her third Olympics in the women’s 100m freestyle. Joining them will be Aleksandar Nikolov whom will compete in the men’s 100m freestyle.

Three athletes will represent Bulgaria in badminton. 2015 European Games gold medalist and sisters Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva will compete in the women’s doubles. They will be joined by Linda Zechiri who will compete in the women’s singles.

In boxing Bulgaria will be represented by Daniel Asenov (men’s flyweight), Simeon Charnov (men’s welterweight) and Stanimira Petrova (women’s flyweight). Other sports Bulgaria will participate in include; cycling (Stefan Hristov, men’s road race), fencing (Pancho Paskov, men’s sabre) and modern pentathlon (Dimitar Krastanov, men’s event).

Overall Bulgaria will send 51 athletes to compete in 14 sports. This will actually be their smallest athlete delegation since 1956.

Team Preview: Barbados

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Barbados is an island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean, just outside of the Caribbean Sea. The nation made its first Summer Olympic appearance in 1968 and has participated ever since, with the exception of the United States led 1980 boycott. In its history Barbados has won a single medal, a bronze medal at the 2000 games in athletics. Going to Rio Barbados is not expected to medal, but are expected to reach a number of semi-finals and possibly finals.

Should Barbados pull of a surprise it will likely come in athletics. The only 2012 Olympian returning to compete in Rio is 2015 Pan American Games silver medalist Ramon Gittens whom will compete in the men’s 100m and 200m. Also competing in the men’s 200m are Levi Cadogan and Burkheart Ellis. Another athlete to watch is 2015 Pan American Games bronze medalist Akela Jones. Jones is seen as an up and coming heptathlete, winning the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Division I Championship. She will also compete in the women’s high jump. Also competing are Kierre Beckles (women’s 100m hurdles), Tia-Adana Belle (women’s 400m hurdles) and Sada Williams (women’s 200m).

Barbados will be making its Olympic debut in two sports. In triathlon Jason Wilson will compete in the men’s race. Wilson finished fifth at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Also making its Olympic sporting debut is tennis. Darian King was given a tripartite quota by the tripartite commission. King whom participated at the 2010 Youth Olympics will compete in the men’s singles. Due to his ranking King has yet to participate in a Grand Slam main draw and has yet to win an ATP tournament, though he has won multiple ITF titles.

Also qualifying through a tripartite commission invitation is sport shooter Micheal Maskell. Maskell will return to his fifth Olympics after competing from 1992-2004, making him the nations longest serving Olympian. He will compete in the men’s skeet.

In swimming Barbados will send two athletes which qualified as wild cards. Lani Cabrera will compete in the women’s 400m freestyle while Alex Sobers will compete in the men’s 400m freestyle.

Overall Barbados will compete with 12 athletes in 5 sports. This will be the largest team since 2000 and is a reverse of three straight Olympics where Barbados sent consecutively fewer athletes.