6 athletes heading to Rio on Tripartite invitations

26 July 2016
Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
The invitations are given to smaller or developing nations to promote universality in sport.

The International Olympic Committee publishes a list of nations eligible to apply for Tripartite places ahead of the selection procedures opening for each Olympics. National Olympic Committees apply across the sports and, then, at the end of the qualification period, the IOC invites nations to fill the places.

For the last few Games, six Tripartite places have been assigned from the 128 available in the Olympic archery competition.

Here’s who’s taken those up at Rio 2016…

1. ALI EL GHRARI – LIBYA 

Nineteen-year-old Libyan athlete Ali El Ghrari hasn’t been able to travel much, due to difficulties in his country, since he finished 17th at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014.

He did appear in Windhoek in January of 2016 – and will make Libya’s archery debut at the Games in Rio.

2. KARMA – BHUTAN 

The only country in the world to have archery as its national sport – and happiness as its measure of wealth – Bhutan has been a stable in the sport at the Olympics since 1980. In 2016, that tradition continues with Karma, a 26-year-old archer from Trashiyangste, a region in the far east of the country.

“I started archery in April 2009. From the day I started archery, I’ve always wanted to make it to the Olympics,” she said.

Karma’s competed at two World Archery Championships since making her international debut in 2012, but Rio will be her first Games. 

3. ARENEO DAVID – MALAWI 

Hailing from Gumulira Village, the first ever archery Olympian from Malawi is the product of Korean coach Sally’s mission to the country over the past few years. Sally was an Olympian in Los Angeles in 1984 and has passed her – considerable – expertise and passion onto a select group of young men in Malawi.

“I first heard of the Olympics in 2015, when I went to Korea,” said Areneo. “After the Olympics I will go back to school. I stopped studying to do archery and participate here. I will go back to secondary school. But now I have some sponsorship, I will do some more archery in the future.”

Areneo shot 591 at the third stage of the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup – 100 or so points more than he managed one year previously. Back at home, in Malawi, he’s been hitting 640 – and might just be, with his excellent technique, the underdog of the Games.

4. SHAMOLI RAY – BANGLADESH 

After not making the cut at her first World Archery Championship in Belek in 2013, Ray put in the work to improve ahead of Copenhagen in 2015. She ranked 80th at her second champs – but fell to Japan’s Nagamine Saori in the first round.

She’s just 22, has six years of international experience and is one of five expected Bangladeshi athletes – cross all sports – in Rio. The nation is searching for its first Olympic medal.

5. JITBAHADUR MUKTAN – NEPAL 

Receiving the honour of being Nepal’s first-ever archer to attend an Olympic Games in Rio, Jitbahadur Muktan first shot at the continental level in 2009. The 36-year-old finished 17th at the Asian Games in Incheon in 2014 and in Guanguhou in 2010.

He’s never made an appearance at a world-level event (Archery World Cup or World Archery Championships) before – but scored 642 on the ranking round at the last Asian Archery Championships, in 2015, which seeded him 36th, one place behind Thailand’s Witthaya Thamwong.

Thamwong went on to qualify a place at the last chance tournament in Antalya, Turkey.

6. HTWE SAN YU – MYANMAR 

At the 2015 Asian Championships, 29-year-old archer Htwe San Yu lost her second-round match in a tight shoot-off, 9-9. In 2016, at the Asia Cup, she got to the third round before losing to Russia’s Ksenia Perova.

Our records, though, on the young woman from Myanmar are not extensive, especially considering she first shot internationally at the South East Asian Games in 2005. She just hasn’t been to many events since.

Myanmar has previously competed in each Olympic archery event since 2000.

In London in 2012, Myanmar’s lone archer – Myo Aung Nay – pulled off a huge upset, knocking out France’s Romain Girouille, who was seeded ninth in the recurve men’s competition, in the first round. It was a tight match all the way, ending in a shoot-off, which Myo Aung Nay promptly won.

The archery competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games begins with the ranking round on 5 August in the Sambodromo.