Four new countries win Olympic quotas at Asian individual qualifier
Four more nations punched a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Asian continental qualifier in Bangkok on Saturday. The individual recurve qualifier, only open to Asian nations who were yet to qualify any athletes in that gender, saw Malaysia and Uzbekistan pick up an individual women’s place, while India and Chinese Taipei took individual men’s places.
As the top two in each category would get the ticket, making the gold final was enough. In recurve women, Malaysian top seed Ariana Nur Dania Mohamad Zairi edged out Diya Siddique of Bangladesh and then Yasna Pourmahani of Iran to make the final and grab the ticket, finishing with a perfect 30.
Her opponent in the final, Ziyodakhon Abdusattorova of Uzbekistan, had taken out India’s Ankita Bhakat and another Iranian, Mobina Fallah on the way – the latter in a nerve-wracking shootoff. Zairi also won the formality that was the gold medal match between her and Abdusattorova, while the two losing Iranian athletes unfortunately had to shoot off for the bronze medal position that neither of them had come for.
In men’s recurve, top seed Dhiraj Bommadevara of India powered his way through the bracket without dropping a set point, thrashing Iranians Sadegh Ashrafi Bavili and Mohammadhossein Golshani Asl to make the final and grab a spot for Paris.
Also taking a single men’s ticket for Paris was Lin Zih-Siang of Chinese Taipei, who beat India’s Tarundeep Rai and Hong Kong, China’s Kwok Yin Chai on the way, finally defeating Bommadevara in the gold medal match. This means that between the Asian Championships and this competition, Chinese Taipei will leave Bangkok with individual men’s and women’s spots.
Continental qualifying tournaments are always brutal affairs, as they are often the ‘best chance’ for a country to pick up spots. There are more chances to qualify both individual and team places for Paris next year – but the clock is ticking.