Thursday, July 5, 2007

Who will go to the Beijing Olympics?

Who will go to the Beijing Olympics?
Lausanne – 3 July 2007

One of the highlights of the 44th Outdoor Archery World Championships in Leipzig will be the qualifications for the Olympic Games. We have run a simulation based on the last World Cup event in Antalya.

A total of 40 places for Recurve Men and 40 places for Recurve Women at the Beijing Olympic Games will be determined in Leipzig. They will be allocated according to the following criteria:

* The eight higher ranked teams for both Recurve Men and Women (excluding China) will qualify three individual places—a total of 24 each.

* The 16 top ranked individuals, from other countries (NOCs) than mentioned above, qualify one place (total 16).

All places are attributed to NOCs and not to individuals. There will be subsequent qualifiers early in 2008 to increase the number of archers to 64 men and 64 women. The host nation, China, automatically qualifies three places per gender for the individual and team competitions.

The recent Antalya World Cup was the biggest ever with 330 archers. It was also one of the last tests before the World Championships in Leipzig and most of the top archers and top teams were there. Therefore, we have good data for analysis. However, a few good countries were missing in Antalya and there are more than 550 archers participating in the World Championships in Leipzig. There was a maximum of four participants per category in Antalya, and there will be only three in Leipzig. Thus, below is only a simulation about the qualifications to the Olympic Games and these are neither facts nor predictions.

- The World Cup 2007 in Antalya

Recurve Men
The most important way for a country to earn places for the Olympic Games is to be in top 8 or 9 teams at the World Championships (depending on if China is on the top 8).

In Antalya, the top 9 teams were Russia, Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, China, Italy, Korea, India and USA.

If we compare this to the last Olympic Games in Athens, Japan, France, Sweden, Mexico, Chinese Taipei and Australia would be missing. However, the last two, Chinese Taipei and Australia did not compete in Antalya. Malaysia would be a new-comer. Other contenders like Great Britain, Germany, Belarus or Turkey would also miss the Games.

Of course, these teams could still make it by qualifying three individuals, either in Leipzig or during the remaining qualifying event in 2008.

For instance, based on Antalya, the simulation shows that Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Germany and Great Britain would qualify two individuals. Countries like Poland, France, Bulgaria, Norway, Slovenia and Denmark would qualify one individual.

The bottom line is that these countries will have had to work hard since Antalya in order to steal the spots of the others.

Recurve Women
Looking at the results of Antalya, the top 8 countries were Korea, Italy, China, France, Russia, Turkey, Poland and Georgia. Great Britain and Mexico were tied for 9th place!

If we compare this to the Athens Games, a lot of countries would be missing: Germany, Greece, Ukraine, India, USA, Japan, Australia and Chinese Taipei (these last two didn’t compete in Antalya). The surprising new-comer would be Georgia.

The USA would actually be a lucky loser, because three archers would have qualified individually and the USA would be allowed to field a team in Beijing. Germany, Ukraine and Japan would qualify two individuals. Belarus, Colombia, India, Malaysia, Moldova and Netherlands would earn one berth.

All may be different in Leipzig but some countries will definitely enter the World Championships with a bit more confidence based on their recent results on the World Cup stages.

In Leipzig, only the top 16 teams of the qualifications will be allowed to compete in match play and therefore have a chance to reach the top 8 or 9 ranks. In other words, the race to Beijing starts Sunday!

Didier Miéville
FITA Communication

* Original Source :

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