Swimming: World Aquatics Championships Begin as Brazil, Italy and United States Qualify Three

France and the United States both won gold at the 10km open water events at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships. The World Aquatics Championships is one of the largest events for a single sport with an estimate 2500 athletes from 190 nations participating in 75 events across 6 disciplines (diving, high diving, open water, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo). For the 10km open water events the top 10 ranked athletes of each gender qualify to the Olympics. The World Aquatics Championships are currently being held in Kazan, Russia from July 24th to August 9th 2015. The open water events were held from July 25th to August 1st 2015.

In the men’s 10km race it was Hungary’s Gergely Gyurta that led a large pack for the first two laps, however staying up front took its toll as by the third lap he was 23 seconds behind the leader, Jordan Wilimovsky of the United States and he would ultimately finish outside of an Olympic qualifying spot in 13th. Wilimovsky used the final lap to extend his lead over the entire field and finished 12 seconds ahead of his closest competitor with a time of 1:49:48.2. Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands won the silver with a time of 1:50:00.3 while Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece won the bronze with a time of 1:50:00.7.

The other athletes to gain an Olympic quota were Sean Ryan (United States), Jack Burnell (Great Britain), Marc-Antoine Olivier (France), Simone Ruffini (Italy), Richard Weinberger (Canada), Allan Do Carmo (Brazil) and Federico Vanelli (Italy).

In the women’s 10km race the top swimmers mostly kept close with each other with France’s Aurelie Muller taking the overall lead starting in the second lap. Going into the final lap Muller and Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands both increased their pace, leaving the rest of the field behind. In the end it was Muller who won gold by 2.4 seconds as she finished with a time of 1:58:04.3, van Rouwendaal finished with a time of 1:58:06.7. The bronze medal went to Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil with a time of 1:58:26.5.

The other athlete to gain an Olympic quota were Rachele Bruni (Italy), Anastasia Krapivina (Russia), Poliana Okimoto (Brazil), Isabelle Harle (Germany), Kalliopi Araouzou (Greece), Haley Anderson (United States) Eva Risztov (Hungary).

In open water swimming athletes are qualified by name, not by nation. For athletes of nations which failed to qualify a quota they will get a second chance at the Olympic swim marathon qualifier to be held in 2016.

Quotas by Nation

  • Brazil – 3
  • Italy – 3
  • United States – 3
  • France – 2
  • Greece – 2
  • Netherlands – 2
  • Canada – 1
  • Germany – 1
  • Great Britain – 1
  • Hungary – 1
  • Russia – 1

References

OmegaTiming. 16th FINA World Championships – Open Water Results. Access on July 29 2015.

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Equestrian: United States Dominate at Pan American Games

The United States won five out of the six gold medals in equestrian at the Pan American Games as they displayed their dominance of the sport in the region. Several individual and team quotas were up for grab at the games. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The equestrian events were held from July 11th to July 25th 2015.

In dressage the highest ranked team along with the highest ranked individuals with a Grand Prix score from Group D (English America) and Group E (Latin America) not yet qualified will be given spots. In eventing only the highest ranked team qualifies. In jumping the two highest ranked teams qualify along with the six highest ranked individuals not yet qualified with a maximum of two quotas per nation.

It became clear that the fight between the only spot in team dressage will be between Canada and the United States. In the Grand Prix round the two nations had their entire team finish within the top 8, ahead of everyone else, but it was the United States, led by Steffen Peters whom led all nations by 4.433 points. Canada performed a bit better in the final Grand Prix Special round, but it was not enough as the United States was able to extend its lead to win the event and Olympics quota with 460.506 points over Canada whom finished with 454.938. Brazil finished in third with 414.895.

With the United States winning the team quota things were a lot easier for Canada to win an individual quota for individual dressage. The United States was still the best nation during the Grand Prix Freestyle portion as they were able to win the gold and silver medal from Steffen Peters and Laura Graves respectively. The Group D quota went to Belinda Trussell of Canada while the Group E quota went to Bernadette Pujals of Mexico as they were the highest ranked riders to have achieved a Grand Prix score, not intermediate score.

The fight for the team eventing quota wasn’t too interesting as both Brazil and Canada have previously qualified through being the host nation and through the World Championships respectively. As long as the United States finished the event they will very likely win the quota. At the end of the dressage portion the United States had a 0.7 slim lead over Canada with Brazil trailing by 3.7 points. Brazil, Canada, Ecuador and the United States all finished the cross-country portion with 0 penalty points; however Canada’s Kathryn Robinson was eliminated which meant her score will be the one removed at the end of the competition and given she was Canada’s best performer in the dressage portion meant Canada was now in a distant third place. In the jumping portion Brazil incurred 4 penalty points and while the United States did the same it was from the athlete that was to be dropped. Therefore the United States won gold and the Olympic quota with a score of 133.00. Brazil won silver with a score of 140.70 while Canada won the bronze medal with a score of 163.00.

Like with eventing both Brazil and the United States had previously qualified in team jumping through being the host nation and through the World Championships respectively. Both Colombia and Argentina surprisingly led the standings after the first round with a score of 1 and 2 respectively while Canada was sitting in third and outside of Olympic qualification with a score of 6. Disaster however struck Colombia as they incurred 14 penalty points in the second round to ultimately finish fifth. Canada however had a very good second round finishing with 1 penalty point for a total of 7. In the end it was enough for gold and the Olympic quota. Argentina won the second Olympic quota and the silver medal with a score of 8. The United States won bronze with a score of 12.

In the individual jumping event a jump-off was required for the gold medal as two riders finished tied with 0 penalty points. United States’ McLain Ward was able to get through the jump-off without penalty and thus won the gold medal as Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez finished the course with 4 penalties. Bronze went to Lauren Hough of the United States who had to win a bronze medal jump-off of her own. The six Olympic quotas went to Venezuela, Venezuela, Uruguay, Colombia, Colombia and Peru.

This was mostly the final opportunity to qualify a team in any equestrian discipline for Pan America. The only other way to qualify a team would be if a nation qualifies enough individuals to form a composite team. This also concludes the Pan American Games in terms of direct qualification to the Olympics.

Number of Athletes by Nation

  • United States – 8
  • Canada – 5
  • Argentina – 4
  • Colombia – 2
  • Venezuela – 2
  • Mexico – 1
  • Peru – 1
  • Uruguay – 1

References

Table Tennis: Brazil and United States Win Gold at Pan American Games

Brazil and the United States both won gold in table tennis at the Pan American Games. The winner of the single events qualifies to the Olympics as the quota is tied to the athlete, not the nation. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The table tennis events were held from July 19th to July 25th 2015.

The men’s singles event was dominated by Brazil as not only did all three reach the quarters, but they all reached the semifinals. Canada’s Eugene Wang was unable to stop Brazil from guaranteeing to win a quota as he lost to Hugo Calderano in a narrow 4-3 match. Calderano would eventually win the gold and Olympic quota by defeating compatriot Gustavo Tsuboi 4-3. Because Brazil has won a quota their men’s host quota has been removed and will be reallocated to the next best ranked athlete in the world rankings.

Brazil also had a strong display in the women’s singles, but they were challenged by the United States as both nations qualified two athletes to the semifinals. Both nations won a semi-final match where United States’ Yue Wu defeated Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara and Brazil’s Lin Gui defeated United States’ Lily Zhang 4-0 and 4-3 respectively. In the final Wu took a 2-0 when Gui won the next 3 games to take the lead. Wu however was able to win the next two matches defeating Gui 4-3 to take gold and the Olympic quota.

Because Brazil and the United States won the tournament one fewer spot will be offered during their respective continental qualifier. For Latin America only 5 spots will be offered in the men’s tournament instead of six while only 2 women’s spots will be offered in the North America tournament instead of three.

Quotas by Nation

  • Brazil – 1
  • United States – 1

References

ITTF. Success at First Attempt, Hugo Calderano and Wu Yue Secure Pan American Titles. Access on July 25 2015.

Handball: Brazil Sweeps Gold Medals at Pan American Games

Brazil demonstrated its continental powers in handball by sweeping both handball tournaments at the Pan American Games. The highest ranked nation, excluding hosts Brazil from each tournament qualifies to the Olympics. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The handball events were held from July 16th to July 25th 2015.

In the women’s tournament Group A went as expected as Brazil dominated their opponents, finishing with a goal differential of 120-52; Mexico finished second and also advanced to the semifinals. Group B however was far from expected. Firstly Chile lost all three of its matches, finishing last in the group then Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay all finished equal on points thus needed goal differential to decide who advances. Unlucky for Cuba it was Argentina and Uruguay whom finished first and second respectively.

The semi-finals were two easy matches as Brazil and Argentina defeated Uruguay and Mexico 40-22 and 27-16 respectively which sets up a final between two fierce rivals. Since Brazil is the host of the 2016 Olympics Argentina automatically qualifies to the Olympics regardless of the final result. In the final it was a tight game as both teams finished 12-12 by the end of the half. Brazil however was able to create a lead in the second half and ultimately won the gold medal with a score of 25-20. Uruguay defeated Mexico 29-21 to win the bronze medal.

The men’s tournament had an eerily similar performance by Brazil in Group A as they also dominated their three opponents and finished with a goal differential of 120-53; Uruguay finished second to advance to the semifinals alongside Brazil. Group B featured a 31-31 tie between Cuba and Chile which ultimately left them tied for points for the second semi-final spot alongside Argentina. Like in the women’s tournament Cuba was again unlucky as Chile had a higher goal differential and thus advanced to the semifinals.

With a South American quartet the status quo remained in the semifinals as Brazil and Argentina defeated Chile and Uruguay 34-24 and 20-12 respectively thus setting up the same final as seen in the women’s tournament. Likewise with the women the Argentinian men’s team automatically qualifies to the Olympics since Brazil has already qualified as hosts. The final was quite close as Argentina took an 11-9 lead by the half, but Brazil kept it close and by the final whistle it was 24-24 and extra time was needed. Brazil was able to get the final two shots in extra time to win the gold medal by a score of 29-27. Chile won the bronze medal by defeating Uruguay 23-17.

All is not over for Chile’s men and Uruguay’s women teams as both nations have qualified to the final qualification tournament to be held in 2016. Mexico’s women team could also participate in the final qualification tournament, but it will require a Pan American nation to finish as one of the top two continents at the Women’s World Championships to be held later this year.

Men’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. Chile
  4. Uruguay
  5. Puerto Rico
  6. Cuba
  7. Canada
  8. Dominican Republic

Women’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. Uruguay
  4. Mexico
  5. Cuba
  6. Puerto Rico
  7. Canada
  8. Chile

References

Pan Am Handball. Juegos Panamericanos – Toronto 2015 – Panamerican Games. Access on July 25 2015.

Field Hockey: Argentina and the United States Crowned Champions at Pan American Games

Argentina and the United States were crowned Pan American champions in field hockey at the 2015 Pan American Games. The winner of each the men’s and women’s tournaments qualify to the Olympics while Brazil’s men have to finish higher than sixth place if they want to be given their host quota. Since the Brazilian women did not qualify Brazil has already lost the host quota to the women’s tournament. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The field hockey events were held from July 13th to July 25th 2015.

In terms of world rankings the women’s tournament went as planned during the group stage. Top 10 ranked Argentina and United States both dominated the field, though a defensive Chile kept United States’ win to 2-0. Going to the finals both Argentina and the United States had maintain a shut-out streak. Argentina’s shut-out streak was broken as the United States scored two goals in the third quarter to take the lead 2-0. Argentina was able to cut the lead late into the fourth quarter, but it was too late for them to score an equalizer. Instead the United States won the gold medal and Olympic quota by a score of 2-1. Canada defeated Chile 1-0 to win the bronze medal.

The group stage also went as expected during the men’s tournament as Argentina and Canada topped the group. Meanwhile Brazil was able to defeat Mexico 1-0 to finish third and possibly give them a better position to win their 5-8 semi-finals. It turned out Brazil had other plans as they tied the United States 1-1 in the quarterfinals and in the ensuing penalty shoot-out Brazil was able to win 3-1 and an automatic host berth to the Olympics. Brazil almost pulled off another unlikely upset in the semifinals by tying Canada 0-0; however, they were unable to repeat its success and lost 5-3 in the penalty shoot-out.

The final was to be a showdown between bitter rivals Argentina and Canada, the finalists of the Pan American Games for the 11th time in a row. By having Argentina reach the final Canada had ensured its spot to the Olympics either through the Pan American Games or should Argentina win they would take Argentina’s spot in the World League by being the next best non-qualified nation. It turned out their spot will come from the World League as Argentina scored a goal in the second, third and fourth quarters to win the Pan American title with a score of 3-0. Chile defeated Brazil 4-1 to win the bronze medal.

With Brazil’s qualification placing sixth in either of the men’s World League semi-final will not qualify you to the Olympics, provided there are no withdrawals from continental qualifiers. This requires New Zealand to win its continental qualifier should they want to take part in the Olympics. While the United States women were not already qualified through the World League, its qualification does not eliminate any team as they were next in line to receive a reallocation quota from a continental champion.

Men’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Argentina
  2. Canada
  3. Chile
  4. Brazil
  5. United States
  6. Mexico
  7. Trinidad and Tobago
  8. Cuba

Women’s Tournament Rankings

  1. United States
  2. Argentina
  3. Canada
  4. Chile
  5. Uruguay
  6. Mexico
  7. Dominican Republic
  8. Cuba

References

Sailing: Guatemala and United States Win Gold at Pan American Games

Guatemala and the United States won the laser and laser radial events respectively at the Pan American Games. The continental qualifiers were split for these two events where the highest ranked nation not yet qualified from the North and South American regions will qualify to the Olympics. The fight for the second spots will occur in a later regatta. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The sailing events were held from July 12th to July 19th 2015.

United States’ Paige Railey may have only won one race, but she was by far the most consistent sailor in the women’s laser radial. In fact her worst race was only a 8th place finish in a field of 16. With that she was able to take a 10 point lead going into the medal race where she easily hanged on to win gold.

The fight for the North American position ultimately came down to Aruba’s Philipine van Aanholt and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Arrindell where a five point gap separated the two going into the medal race. Arrindell did the best she could be winning the race, but Aanholt’s third place finish meant it was enough for Aruba to qualify.

The South American quota was between Argentina’s Lucia Falasca, Uruguay’s Dolores Moreira and Venezuela’s Daniela Rivera. Falasca had a 4 and 10 point lead over Uruguay and Venezuela respectively, but a disastrous medal race where she placed eighth, not only cost her a medal, but an Olympic quota. Instead it was Uruguay’s second place performance which was enough not only for a silver medal, but an Olympic quota. Brazil’s Fernanda Demetrio won the bronze.

Like in the women’s race Guatemala’s Juan Ignacio Maegli may have only won a single race, but it was his consistency in the men’s laser that won him the event as he posted a top 5 finish in every race except one which was dropped anyways. The silver medal went to Brazil’s Robert Scheidt while the bronze went to Canada’s Lee Parkhill.

The quota for North America nations wasn’t much of a race as Trinidad and Tobago’s Andrew Lewis consistently finished ahead of his eligible opponents and was the only sailor to reach the medal rounds.

As with North America in South America it was El Salvador’s Enrique Arathoon that did just enough against his Venezuelan opponent to stay ahead of him in most races. While in some sports which separate North and South America include El Salvador as a North American nation in sailing they are considered a South American nation.

The other single spot in men’s laser and women’s laser radial will be decided at a world cup in early 2016. The laser radial also has its world championships to go so it will be likely that some nations in Pan America will qualify through that.

Quotas by Nation

  • Aruba – 1
  • El Salvador – 1
  • Trinidad and Tobago – 1
  • Uruguay – 1

References

Modern Pentathlon: Brazil and Guatemala Win at Pan American Games

Brazil and Guatemala both won the modern pentathlon events held at the Pan American Games. The rules for the continental qualifier for Pan America are a bit different than the other continents. While 5 quotas were available for both genders at least one of them had to be in the NORCECA and South American region and only one athlete per nation is able to qualify instead of two or more. The Pan America Games are currently being held in Toronto, Canada from July 7th to July 26th 2015. The modern pentathlon events were held from July 18th to July 19th 2015.

In the women’s race it was Brazil’s Yane Marques who had a great start by winning both the fencing and swimming portions. A relatively poor performance in the riding portion didn’t stop her from having a 36 second lead over the entire field going into the final portion. Over the running and shooting portion Tamara Vega of Mexico produced a near-flawless performance where she finished just one second behind Marques for silver. Compatriot Mayan Oliver won the bronze, but did not get an Olympic quota due to the one quota per nation rule. The other three quotas went to Donna Vakalis of Canada, Isabel Brand of Guatemala and Leydi Moya of Cuba. Since Marques finished in third at the world championship that quota has been reallocated to the next best ranked eligible person in that event, Great Britain’s Samantha Murray.

Guatemala’s Charles Fernandez took the overall lead with an impressive performance in fencing and was able to maintain it despite the weather delays for the final portion where he had a 17 second lead, ahead of Nathan Schrimsher of the United States who was 11 seconds ahead of Ismael Hernandez of Mexico. Part-way through the final portion Hernandez was able to overtake Schrimsher while also making cuts into Fernandez lead. However, Hernandez just simply ran out of space as Fernandez won the gold medal with a 5 second advantage. Schrimsher won the bronze to also book a ticket to Rio. The other two quotas went to Jose Figueroa of Cuba and Emmanuel Zapata of Argentina.

In modern pentathlon the quota is tied to the athlete instead of going straight to the NOC. The continental championships will continue with visits to Europe and Africa over the month of August.

Quotas by Nation

  • Cuba – 2
  • Guatemala – 2
  • Mexico – 2
  • Argentina – 1
  • Brazil – 1
  • Canada – 1
  • United States – 1

References