The 2016 Rio Olympics are just over a year away. On the eve of the 2015 World Championships in Moscow I wanted to take a look on where the teams stood and what they need to do at the World Championships to be in position to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Here’s a quick update on how the various contests stand for Olympic Qualifying.
In the team fencing events for the 2016 Olympic Games, there will be eight qualification spots open for teams. (Brazil could enter a 9th team into an event using their allotment of fencer entries if they wish.)
Update: The original version of this post stated that teams needed to be ranked in the top-25 to be considered for the team qualification. That was incorrect as the rule is that the teams must be in the top-16. That changed some of the qualifications for all of the events.
First, the rules: The qualification goes to the top 4 teams regardless of zone, followed by one team per zone not already in the top 4. The only restriction is that to be eligible a team must rank within the top 16 of the FIE World Rankings. Should a team be the top in the zone but not in the top-16, then that spot will go to the next highest ranked team regardless of zone.
The Olympic qualification period includes points from competitions held between April 1st, 2015 and March 31st, 2016.
On the eve of the 2015 World Championships China, France, and the United States are poised to qualify in all four team events. Here is where the qualifications stand:
Women’s Team Epee:
These rankings only include points from one team world cup and the various zonal championships. There are 4 team world cups plus the world championships, but already we see that teams are under pressure to perform.
Italy sneaks in taking South Africa’s spot because South Africa is not in the FIE top-16. Despite Italy’s #1 FIE ranking, they are behind in qualifying points due to placing 3rd at the European Championships and 5th in Johannesbourg. Those events were won by Romania and France, who now sit at the top 2 for qualifying. (Full sheet)
Women’s Team Sabre:
The standings for the women’s sabre teams are more clear cut already. While they still have 4 world cups and World Championships, 5th ranked Italy is over 20 points behind for the European zonal slot. Right now Italy sneaks in again due to Tunisia’s 20th place FIE ranking. (Full sheet)
Men’s Team Foil
This is the event in which host nation Brazil would be likely to enter a team, and currently they are in position to qualify outright instead of using their host nation status. Brazil holds a narrow points edge over Canada for the Americas zonal slot. The zonal slots (except for Africa) are all within reach for the next nation in line. (Full sheet)
Men’s Team Epee
Men’s epee will have a very interesting qualifying race. Kazakhstan won the Asian Championships and put themselves into contention; they are currently qualified over China due to China being out of the current FIE top-16. 3rd ranked Switzerland had a bad outing in Paris and took 3rd at the European championships and now find themselves behind 2 other countries (Russia and Ukraine) for the European zonal slot. Ukraine gets Egypt’s spot because despite having more qualifying points, Egypt and Japan are outside of the FIE top-16. This will all change based on World Championships. (Full sheet)
After the World Championships we’ll take another look at how the standings have changed, and also take our first look at the prospects for the individual events.