Taekwondo: Four Nations Reach Olympics After Oceania Qualifier

Australia won the maximum quota as four nations qualify at the 2016 Oceania Taekwondo Qualification Tournament. The winner of each weight class qualified to the Olympics. As a rule in taekwondo nations can only send a maximum of two athletes per gender to the tournament provided they have not qualified any yet. The Oceania Taekwondo Qualification Tournament was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on February 27th 2016.

Sisters Caroline and Carmen Marton of Australia both qualified in the women’s -57kg and -67kg events respectively while Carman’s husband, Khalil Safwan qualified in the men’s -58kg. The Australian team was rounded up by Hayder Shkara whom defeated New Zealand’s Vaughn Scott in the final.

Another family duo qualified from Papua New Guinea as Samantha Kassman and her nephew Maxamillion Kassman both qualified in the women’s +67kg and men’s -68kg events respectively. To encourage more refugees to take part at the Olympics Afghanistan refugee Arash Arian took part in the men’s -68kg event, but lost to Kassman in the first round.

The largest upset of the tournament came at the final of the men’s +80kg where Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua defeated New Zealand’s Dafydd Sanders in the finals in order to qualify to the Olympics. The final Olympic spot went to New Zealand’s Andrea Kilday whom defeated Papua New Guinea’s Rose Mary Tona in the women’s -49kg final.

This was the final opportunity to qualify to the Olympics for athletes in the Oceania region. The remaining continents will have their qualification tournament over the coming weeks.

 

Quotas by Nations

  • Australia – 4
  • Papua New Guinea – 2
  • New Zealand – 1
  • Tonga – 1

 

References

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