Gymnastics: China Dominates at World Trampoline Championships

China was able to qualify the maximum number of athletes to the Olympics as they won gold medals in the individual events at the 2015 Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships. The top 8, with a maximum of two nations per gender qualify to the Olympics. The Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships were held in Odense, Denmark from November 26th to November 29th 2015.

In the women’s individual event China dominated the qualification round by holding four out of the top five positions. However, only three are allowed into the semifinals meaning fifth place Zhong Xingping did not qualify to the next round. Li Dan of China led all athletes in the semifinals as her high difficulty routine was enough to finish above Tatsiana Piatrenia of Belarus. The top 8 qualified to the finals and Olympics; specifically Belarus (2), Canada, China (2), Georgia and Great Britain (2). Li Dan continued her exceptional performance by winning the gold medal over her compatriot Liu Lingling. Piatrenia finished with the bronze medal.

China was also the star in the men’s individual event as they finished in four of the top six positions. Belarus’ Uladzislau Hancharou finished the qualification round with the most points. In the semifinals Gao Lei of China took the top spot. Since China had three athletes in the top 8 ninth place Morgan Demiro-O-Demiro of France advanced over Dong Dong. The eight Olympic quotas went to Belarus, China (2), France, Japan (2) and Russia (2). In the final Gao Lei executed a highly difficult routine to win the gold medal as Hancharou and Yudin Andrey of Russia took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

The remaining spots will be decided at the Gymnastics Test Event to be held in 2016. The athletes that will compete in the test event were decided at this event where the top 12 athletes, with a maximum of two per nation from nations not yet qualify will be given a second chance to compete and qualify one athlete per gender.


Quotas by Nation

  • China – 4
  • Belarus – 3
  • Great Britain – 2
  • Japan – 2
  • Russia – 2
  • Canada – 1
  • France – 1
  • Georgia – 1




Sailing: Great Britain Retains Finn World Title

Reigning world champion Giles Scott of Great Britain was able to retain his crown at the 2015 Finn Gold Cup. In addition the top four ranked nations not yet qualified were given spots to compete at the Olympics. The Finn Gold Cup was held in Takapuna, New Zealand from November 24th to November 29th.

In total ten full races and a medal race were held over the competition. New Zealand’s Andrew Murdoch took an early lead on the first day, but a couple of poor performances quickly pushed him out of contention as Giles Scott of Great Britain took over and extended his lead. By the mid-way point he held an 18 point lead over Estonia’s Deniss Karpak and Finland’s Tapio Nirkko. Scott continued to extend his lead over the rest of the competition and was guaranteed a gold medal, even before the medal race begun as he held a 53 point lead over France’s Jonathan Lobert. Lobert would retain his second place finish while Slovenia’s Vasilij Zbogar finished with the bronze medal. The Olympic quotas went to 6th place Netherlands, 9th place Greece, Estonia and Uruguay.

This was the final opportunity for Asia to qualify as they already had their continental qualifier. As for the other continents they will have their qualifiers between now and just before the Olympics with just five more quotas remaining overall.


Quotas by Nation

  • Estonia – 1
  • Greece – 1
  • Netherlands – 1
  • Uruguay – 1



Rugby Sevens: Japan’s Women Win Asian Olympic Qualifier Series

Japan’s women will compete in rugby seven’s debut at the Olympics after they won the Women’s Asian Sevens Qualifier Series. The six team round robin championships were held over two legs where the nation with the best combined ranking will be given a spot to compete at the Olympics. The first tournament was held in Hong Kong, China from November 7th to November 8th 2015 while the second tournament was held in Tokyo, Japan from November 28th to November 29th 2015.

The first tournament began with a narrow 7-5 victory of Japan over Kazakhstan. The first upset came at the hands of China as they were defeated 5-0 by Hong Kong. A 22-0 loss to Kazakhstan essentially ended China’s hopes for a final appearance, but they were able to get a consolation victory over Japan as they won the match 12-5. The final between Japan and Kazakhstan was an easier affair relative to their first match as Japan won the first leg by a score of 22-0. Hong Kong would repeat their shocking victory in the third place final as they took the bronze medal via a score of 12-7.

The second tournament went similarly as the first. Both Japan and Kazakhstan essentially booked a spot to the final by defeating China 20-7 and 14-0 respectively. In a reverse from the previous tournament China was able to defeat Hong Kong 17-7 while Kazakhstan caused a bit of an upset by defeating Japan 7-5 in the final game of the round robin. In the cup final Japan was able to put away its loss as they booked their spot to the Olympics by winning the second tournament over Kazakhstan 14-7. China repeated its round robin performance to defeat Hong Kong 19-10 for the bronze medal.

11 out of the 12 teams are now known for rugby sevens’ debut in 2016. The final spot will be decided at the final Olympic qualification tournament to be decided in 2016. Kazakhstan, China and Hong Kong will get a second chance and will compete in that tournament.


Tournament Leaderboard

  • Japan – 40
  • Kazakhstan – 36
  • China – 32
  • Hong Kong – 32
  • Sri Lanka – 22
  • Guam – 22




Handball: Qatar Men Will Make Olympic Debut in Rio

Qatar will debut at the Olympics in men’s handball after winning the Asian Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament. Eleven teams were split into two groups where the top two advanced to the semifinals. The winner of the tournament was given a spot to compete at the Olympics. The Asian Men’s Olympic Qualification Tournament was held in Doha, Qatar from November 14th to November 17th 2015.

Group A was topped by Bahrain and South Korea as they racked up three wins a piece before facing off each other in the final match of the group. Despite a strong start by South Korea whom led 19-12 at the half it was Bahrain whom controlled the second half of the game to win the group narrowly in a 31-30 victory.

Group B was dominated by world silver medalist Qatar as they won all five of their matches with only Saudi Arabia losing by single digits. Saudi Arabia was unable to extend that performance in its other matches as losses to Iran and Japan cost it a spot in the semifinals. The second place team of the group was Iran whom faced stiff defense by Japan to win the match 31-27.

Iran and Qatar advanced to the finals by having a strong first half as they were able to maintain their lead over Bahrain and Japan respectively to win 35-30 and 30-26 respectively. In the final Iran attempted to gain a sustainable lead, but whenever they pushed Qatar was always there to answer back as Qatar went on to win the tournament 28-19. Bahrain won the bronze medal by defeating South Korea 34-21.

Despite their loss Iran will get a second chance at the final Olympic qualification tournament. Since Asia was the second best continent at the World Championships they were given an additional spot at the final tournament which went to Bahrain.


Tournament Rankings

  1. Qatar
  2. Iran
  3. Bahrain
  4. South Korea
  5. Japan
  6. Saudi Arabia
  7. Iraq
  8. China
  9. Oman
  10. Australia
  11. Uzbekistan



Sailing: Four Nations Qualify After Women’s Laser Radial Champs

Denmark’s Anne-Marie Rindom was able to defeat reigning world champion Marit Bouwmeester at the 2015 Laser Radial World Championships. The top four nations not yet qualified were given spots to compete at the Olympics. The Laser Radial World Championships were held in Al Mussanah, Oman from November 20th to November 26th 2015.

In total 29 nations were eligible to qualify to the Olympics. The qualification rounds were mostly led by Rindom though she never had much of a lead and was tied with Manami Doi of Japan by the end of the sixth race. The top 50 boats were placed into the gold fleet to compete for medals and Olympic quotas. This brought the total of eligible nations to qualify for the four spots to 11.

Due to bad weather only five races were held and the match race was cancelled. By the end Rindom and Bouwmeester were tied with 40 net points, but with the tie breaker being having more top place finishings this gave Rindom the gold medal. Evi van Acker of Belgium won the bronze medal. The Olympic quotas went to eight place Japan, Australia, Turkey and Argentina whom was able to pass Spain for the final spot at the final race.

The final spots for this event will be given out at the continental qualifiers. Where the top 1 or 2 boats from each continent will be given a spot to compete.


Quotas by Nation

  • Argentina – 1
  • Australia – 1
  • Japan – 1
  • Turkey – 1



Laser International. 2015 Laser Radial Women’s Worlds Results. Access on November 26 2015.


Sailing: Five Nations Qualify After 49er & 49erFX Championship

Italy and New Zealand struck gold at the 2015 49er and 49erFX World Championships. The top three nations not yet qualified in the men’s 49er and women’s 49erFX qualified to the Olympics. The 49er and 49erFX World Championships were held in Buenos Aries, Argentina from November 16th to November 21st 2015.

In total 14 nations were eligible to qualify in the women’s 49erFX. At the end of the qualification round it was Ida Nielsen and Marie Olsen on Denmark whom led all boats as they finished first in six out of the eight races. 25 boats, including 7 eligible nations advanced to the gold fleet while the others were left in the lower tier silver fleet.

A bad overall performance in the final races by Nielsen and Olsen pushed them off the top of the rankings, but a decent performance in the match race was enough to salvage a bronze medal. The gold medal came down to the final race between Italy’s Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich and Brazil’s Matine Grael and Kahena Kunze whom only needed to finish ahead of the Italian boat to win the gold. However, Conti and Clapcich were able to finish first in the final race to win the gold medal. The Olympic spots went to Argentina, Singapore and after a protest Canada as Ireland was disqualified in the 13th race.

The men’s 49er had 16 eligible nations to qualify. The qualification round was dominated by reigning champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke of New Zealand where they won four out of the eight races. 26 boats including six eligible nations advanced to the gold fleet while the others competed in the silver fleet.

Burling and Tuke continued a strong final round as they went uncontested on route to a gold medal. The Olympic quotas were given to Argentina, Germany and Poland by virtue of their qualification to the match race. The silver medalist was won by Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen whom past Spain’s Federico Alonso and Arturo Alonso Tellechea on the final race.

The final qualification path way for these two events will be at the individual continental qualification events, the first to be held in December for Oceania nations.


Quotas by Nation

  • Argentina – 2
  • Canada – 1
  • Germany – 1
  • Poland – 1
  • Singapore – 1



Field Hockey: South Africa Withdraws Both Men’s and Women’s Team

The South African Olympic Committee has upheld its strict qualifying rules meaning the men’s and women’s field hockey teams will not compete at the Olympics. While it is expected that the South African Field Hockey Federation will attempt to appeal the decision I have currently reallocated the spots. The reallocation of the spots will go the highest ranked men’s and women’s team from the 2014-15 World League Semifinals, specifically New Zealand’s men and Spain’s women.


Rugby Sevens: Kenya Wins Men’s African Championship

A comeback win for Kenya was needed to secure their second title at the 2015 Men’s African Sevens Championship. The tournament contained 12 teams split into three groups where the top eight performers advanced to the quarterfinals. The winner will be given a spot to compete at the Olympics. The Men’s African Sevens Championship was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from November 14th to November 15th 2015.

With South Africa already previously qualified fellow World Series core member Kenya was the big favourite. Kenya showed why it was considered the favourite by winning Group A by a combined score of 123-5. Madagascar had a great start by defeating Senegal 33-7, but a 29-27 loss to Mauritius spelt trouble for them. However, Senegal would go on to defeat Mauritius 19-17 which caused Madagascar to advance to the quarterfinals. Sadly Senegal was the odd third place team out and did not advance to the quarterfinals.

Group B was similarly dominated by Zimbabwe as they won all three matches by a combined score of 122-12. Uganda was able to secure second place by defeating Nigeria in a closely contested match 19-12. Nigeria also advanced to the quarterfinals by dispatching Zambia 19-14.

Group C was considered to be debatable between Morocco, Namibia and Tunisia. In the end it was Namibia which topped the group with wins over Morocco and Tunisia by scores of 24-21 and 45-10 respectively. Tunisia secured second place by defeating Morocco 21-17. Morocco advanced as one of the best third place teams as they defeated Botswana, 38-5.

Kenya and Zimbabwe were able to win their quarterfinals with ease as they defeated Madagascar and Nigeria 41-0 and 31-10 respectively. Tunisia won by a try over Uganda 19-14 while Morocco got a bit of revenge from its group stage loss by defeating Namibia in a tight score of 17-15. Kenya and Zimbabwe continued their strong showing at this championship by winning their semifinals 42-12 and 26-0 against Tunisia and Morocco respectively. The final was a very close affair when Zimbabwe took the lead towards the end of the match. Kenya would respond with a last second try to win the tournament and a spot at the Olympics by a score of 21-17. Morocco took the bronze medal by a score of 19-12.

This was the first Kenyan team to qualify to the Olympics since the women’s volleyball team back in 2004. Zimbabwe, Morocco and Tunisia will all have a final chance to qualify to the Olympics at the final Olympic qualifier to be held in 2016.

Tournament Rankings

  1. Kenya
  2. Zimbabwe
  3. Morocco
  4. Tunisia
  5. Namibia
  6. Madagascar
  7. Uganda
  8. Nigeria
  9. Botswana
  10. Mauritius
  11. Senegal
  12. Zambia


Rugby Sevens: Australia and Fiji Win Oceania Sevens Championship

The Australian men and Fijian women booked their spots to the Olympics by winning the 2015 Oceania Sevens Championships. The men’s tournament was an 8-team tournament with two groups where all teams advanced to the quarterfinals while the women’s tournament was a 5-team tournament with a single group where teams attempted to qualify to the semifinals. The winner of both tournaments was given a spot to compete at the Olympics. The Oceania Sevens Championship was held in Auckland, New Zealand from November 14th to November 15th 2015.

In the men’s tournament Fiji and New Zealand did not compete as they had already qualified previously. In Group A it was a dominant display by Australia as they topped the group with a combined score of 159-7. Tonga grabbed the second seed with its win over the Cook Islands and debutant Nauru.

Group B was similarly dominated by Samoa, though their final group game against Papua New Guinea was initially close until Samoa blew open the floodgates to win the match 41-7. Papua New Guinea finished second in the group with a dominant display over the Solomon Islands and American Samoa.

The quarterfinals were largely uneventful as the favourites all won, but Papua New Guinea struggled to distance itself against the Cook Islands, winning the match 19-7. A major upset occurred in the semifinals when Tonga defeated World Series core member Samoa in a 41-5 blowout to reach the final. Australia booked the other spot to the final with a strong 36-0 win over Papua New Guinea. Australia continued its fine form in the finals where they defeated Tonga 50-0 to qualify to the Olympics. Samoa won the third place match 54-0.

In the women’s tournament Australia and New Zealand did not compete as they had already qualified previously. As the only remaining World Series core team Fiji dominated the group with a combined score of 204-0. The Cook Islands finished second in the group as they were able to score a narrow win over Samoa as they won by a score of 19-7. Tonga was the nation eliminated as they lost 20-5 against Papua New Guinea.

Fiji booked its spot to the final with a 40-0 win over Papua New Guinea while Samoa got a matter of revenge over the Cook Islands by narrowly winning 17-15. Fiji was able to finish the tournament without conceding a try as they defeated Samoa 55-0 to book its spot to the Olympics. The bronze medal went to the Cook Islands as they defeated Papua New Guinea 32-0.

Both Australia and Fiji have now qualified teams in both genders. All is not over for some teams as Tonga and Samoa for the men and Samoa and Cook Islands for the women have all qualified to the final Olympic qualification tournament to be held some time in 2016.

Men’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Australia
  2. Tonga
  3. Samoa
  4. Papua New Guinea
  5. Cook Islands
  6. Solomon Islands
  7. American Samoa
  8. Nauru

Women’s Tournament Rankings

  1. Fiji
  2. Samoa
  3. Cook Islands
  4. Papua New Guinea
  5. Tonga


Canoeing: Three Nations Qualify At African Slalom Championships

Three nations qualified to the Olympics after their performance at the 2015 African Canoe Slalom Championships. The highest ranked eligible nation from the Men’s K1 and C1 and Women’s K1 slalom events was given a spot to compete. The African Canoe Slalom Championships was held in Nairobi, Kenya from November 6th to November 8th 2015.

Senegal’s Jean Pierre Bourhis was the clear favourite in the men’s C1 as he finished over 5 seconds ahead of Lindelani Ngidi of South Africa during the heats. Bourhis would continue his performance in the final by finishing 6.46 seconds ahead of Ngidi. Alphaxard Mania of Kenya won the bronze medal.

The women’s K1 was led by Morocco’s Hind Jamili whom edged out Grace Maina of Kenya during the heats. Jamili would improve her performance by finishing 3.27 seconds ahead of her compatriot Celia Jodar. Mania would end up finishing with the bronze.

The men’s K1 was a bit more competitive as South Africa’s Katleho Mahlaba finished ahead of Nigeria’s Johnathan Akinyemi during the heats. Akinyemi was able to make the necessary adjustments to win the Olympic quota for his nation for the second Olympics in a row. The silver medal went to Mehdi Rouich of Morocco while Mahlaba ended up with the bronze.

This was the final opportunity for African nations to qualify in canoe slalom. The remaining spots will go to other continents that still have their continental qualifiers to go.

Quotas by Nation

  • Morocco – 1
  • Nigeria – 1
  • Senegal – 1