Asian Taekwondo Qualification Tournament to Kick Off in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Nov. 28-30
The three-day qualifying event, which will be held at the Phu Tho Stadium in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, attracts 85 contestants from 29 Asian countries and territories.
Among the participating countries are Afghanistan, Chinese Taipei, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Nepal, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and host Vietnam.
The tournament will be officiated by 22 international referees selected among the 184 participants in the WTF International Referee Training Camp for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games held at Woosuk University in Korea in July this year. Through the WTF’s world and continental qualifications, the best 29 referees will be finalized early next year.
The opening day of the Asian qualifying tournament will feature two weight categories of the men’s -58kg and the women’s -49kg, while the following two days will feature three weight divisions each: the men’s -68kg, the men’s -80kg and the women’s -57kg (on Nov. 29); and the men’s +80kg, the women’s -67kg and the women’s +67kg (on Nov. 30).
Through the Asian tournament, a total of 24 slots will be allocated. Each member national association is allowed to field a maximum two male and two female contestants out of four male and four female Olympic weight categories.
The top three athletes from each of the eight Olympic weight divisions at the Asian qualifying event will qualify their National Olympic Committees a place in the respective event. The weight categories that a national taekwondo association has qualified for at the world and continental qualification tournaments are attributed to the association, rather than to the contestants who participated in the tournaments.
A total of 128 athletes are scheduled to compete in the taekwondo competition of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Through the 2007 WTF World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament, which was held in Manchester, the United Kingdom on Sept. 28-30, a total of 24 places were allocated. The African Taekwondo Qualification Tournament was held in Tripoli, Libya on Nov. 1-2, in which 16 slots were already allocated.
The Oceania Qualification Tournament is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Noumea, New Caledonia, in which eight places will be allocated. The Pan-American Qualification Tournament and the European Qualification Tournament are scheduled for Dec. 8-9 in Cali, Colombia, and Jan. 26-27, 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey, respectively, where 24 places will be allocated each.
China will field two male and two female athletes in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as it was automatically qualified as the host nation of the upcoming Olympic Games. Four invitational places, also known as wild cards, will be distributed to certain nations, after consultations among the International Olympic Committee, the Association of National Olympic Committees and the WTF.