PH to host Olympic taekwondo qualifying tilt

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The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) will be hosting the Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament on April 19 to 20 to be held in Manila.

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The two-day meet will serve as qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games scheduled in August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with 16 slots are up for grabs.

More than 400 jins from different parts of the region are expected to show up including those from powerhouse South Korea, China, Japan, Iran, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The World Tae kwon do Federation (WTF) has alloted a total of 128 slots from different continents to see action in the Olympics.

So far, there are 48 jins who have already qualified to the Rio Games through ranking. The WTF will also give eight automatic berths to the host country and athletes invited via wildcard.

The remaining 72 spots will be distributed through Continental Qualification Games.

The other continental events are the European Qualification Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey on January 16 to 17, the African Qualification Tournament in Agadir, Morocco on February 2 to 4, the Oceania Qualification Tournament in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on February 27, and the Pan Am Qualification Tournament in Mazatlan, Mexico on March 10 to 11.

The Philippines last participated in the tae kwon do competitions of the Olympics in the 2008 edition held in Beijing, China courtesy of Thsomlee Go and Mary Antoinette Rivero.

Go lost to Ryan Carneli of Australia in the first round (0-1) while Rivero succumbed to Sandra Saric of Croatia also in the opening round (1-4).

The then 16-year-old Rivero almost made a podium finish in the 2004 edition in Athens, Greece but suffered a 2-6 decision at the hands of Hwang Kyeon-Son of South Korea in the battle-for-bronze match.

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