6 teams claim Rio 2016 berths at final world qualifier

16 June 2016
Antalya (TUR)
France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Italy, Ukraine and Chinese Taipei secured the last team places at the Olympic Games.

Twelve men’s and 12 women’s team compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Eight were picked at the initial qualification tournament in Copenhagen in 2015 and one is assigned to the host nation, Brazil. 

The final three were available to teams at the Final Qualification Tournament held as part of the Antalya 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

Men’s qualifiers

  • France 
  • Indonesia 
  • Malaysia 

Second seeded Mexico, the fourth-placed team at London 2012, did not claim an Olympic space.

The Mexican team was upset in the first round by Canada – then top-ranked India lost, in a shoot-off, to Malaysia in the quarterfinals. The Canadian trio couldn’t do the same to France, who beat them in four sets then secured that side of the bracket and a ticket to Rio with a win over Germany in the semifinals.

Malaysia lost out to Indonesia in the other semi in straight sets – the latter taking the second Olympic berth – and then went 2-0 down in the third-fourth place play-off, to decide the final Rio space. Malaysia, led by Olympians Haziq Kamaruddin and Khairul Anuar Mohamad rallied, winning three consecutive sets to take the match, over Germany, 6-2.

“We were very nervous, I don’t know how to explain it,” said Kamaruddin. “But we had a lot of fight, and we’ve had a plan for a long time.”

Japan, Ukraine and fifth-ranked Finland all fell out of the competition in the first round. Great Britain and Russia lost in the quarterfinals.

Indonesia and Malaysia had already qualified individual places. As a result of collecting team places, these two individual places are returned to the pool, bringing the total number of spaces available in the individual competition at the Final Qualification Tournament to five.

Women’s qualifiers

  • Italy 
  • Ukraine 
  • Chinese Taipei 

Estonia almost made a Cinderella run at an Olympic space. The Estonian team shocked Germany, seeded first, in a first-round shoot-off before beating Great Britain in straight sets in the quarters. A semifinal with Ukraine went the opponent’s way, however, and Ukraine secured the first Olympic team space.

The opposite semifinal, between Italy and Chinese Taipei, went to a shoot-off, which Italy won, along with an invitation to Rio 2016.

All three of Chinese Taipei’s archers were ranked in the top 10 in the world, individually, arriving in Antalya. There was one Olympic team quota left, and it would be them or Estonia taking it. In straight sets, it was Chinese Taipei’s.

Italy confirmed that the team that won the space – Guendalina Sartori, Claudia Mandia and Lucilla Boari – would be Olympic team.

“We’re happy we made it because we believed from the day we arrived here that it was possible to make it,” said Sartori. 

Mandia added: “The matches were all hard, since the first arrow, but we proved how strong we can be and as we knew the names of the official team yesterday night, we remembered all we’d been trying in the last months to make everything work here today.”

All three teams had qualified individual places, which are returned to the pool. The total number of women’s spaces available in the individual competition at the Final Qualification Tournament is six.

The nations that take the five men’s and six women’s individual places will be decided on Friday 17 June. Each nation can win a maximum of one space in each gender and only nations that do not already have a space in that gender can enter athletes.