Nanjing start list taking shape after final qualification places won at Ljubljana
Ljubljana (SLO) - Monday, May 26, 2014
The last of the five Youth Olympic Games continental quota tournaments wrapped up in Ljubljana over the weekend… with six different nations winning spots.
The last chance for nations to qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Games came and went last Friday – after teams yet to secure themselves a Youth Olympic place sent their best young athletes to the European quota tournament, shot during the continent’s youth championships.
While most Youth Olympic places were won at Wuxi 2013, some nations were left unexpectedly empty-handed after those youth worlds. That’s because there’s only one spot in each category available to each country – and there was no recovery from poor match results early in that event.
In Ljubljana, Florian FABER was seeded first for the boy’s brackets – and made it to the top-eight phase without losing a set. He drew that quarterfinal match 5-all but won the one-arrow shoot-off, before losing to the Ukraine’s Anton KOMAR in the semis.
No matter, FABER won Switzerland a Nanjing spot by beating Elia FREGNAN in the bronze medal match – while KOMAR beat Zhargal BATOEV to gold. Both BATOEV – representing Russia – and KOMAR secured quota places by making the final.
The three available girl’s tickets went to Germany, Slovenia and Finland – and it was decided by the quarterfinal results when two German athletes made the last four. Cynthia FREYWALD and Milena ZIEGLER then shot for quota tournament gold against each other – ZIEGLER won – and the outcome of Ivana LAHARNAR and Mirjam TUOKKOLA’s bronze medal match had no effect on quota place distribution.
Finland’s TUOKKOLA was actually something of a surprise. She was seeded 15, but beat second-ranked Celina WLECKE (another German) in a second-round shoot-off – she’d then win a second one-arrow decider in the next matchplay phase – to upset the brackets.
Nearly all of the 28 qualified countries in each category have an athlete who has recorded the minimum qualifying standard, and therefore is eligible to shoot at Nanjing. There is still time for the outstanding requirements to be filled before the competition list is locked in.
Developing nations applied for invitational places earlier on in the qualification process – with four available in the boy’s and four in the women’s competition – which will be confirmed and announced over the coming month.
And with about eight weeks to go until we head to Nanjing, the list of countries that will compete for the Youth Olympic podium are starting to take shape. Although it’s worth remembering that the athlete who won the quota place is not necessarily the athlete that shoots at the Games: it’s down to individual teams and Olympic committees in each country to pick their representatives.
As countries start to do just that… we’ll declare the countdown to competition at these Games officially open!
See results, pictures, video and news from the European continental quota tournament and the European Youth Archery Championships in Ljubljana on the event website.