Russian acquired the largest number of quota places in its Olympic taekwondo history
Russia won two more tickets, securing four in total on the first competition day
|Alexey Denisenko, Russia - Gold medalist in Men's -58kg|
The European Qualification Tournament kicked off in the jam-packed Palace of Martial Arts, 'Ak Bars', at Kazan, Russia, on January 27, 2012, attracting 120 athletes from 39 countries.
On the first day of competition featured with Men's under 58kg and Women's under 49kg matches, the host country, Russia, has won two more tickets to London, acquiring four quota places in total. This is the largest number of places that it has gained in its Olympic taekwondo history. It had won two places in Men's over 80kg and Women's over 67kg at the World Qualification Tournament held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2011. Russia had sent two athletes to the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games each, while none of Russian athletes made it for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Alexey Denisenko of Russia beat the incumbent world champion, Joel Gonzalez of Spain, in Men's under 58kg division to take first place, getting enthusiastic applause from his home fans. Kristina Kim defeated Ganna Soroka of Ukraine by 8 to 4 in Women's under 49kg division and grabbed the ticket to London.
Spain and Germany newly joined the group of qualifiers for London 2012. Spain won two quota places, shedding bad memories in Baku in which it had failed to win any place. Brigida Yague in Women's -49kg won gold medal, while Joel Gonzalez won silver medal.
Sumeyye Manz of Germany took 2nd place in Women's under 49kg weight category and became the first athlete qualified for the London 2012 in the her team.
Uno Sanli of Sweden beat Andrei Rotaru of Moldova and took the 3rd place in Men's under 58kg, gaining one more ticket to London for his home country. Sweden had gained one place in Women's under 67kg division at the World Qualification Tournament in Baku (Click here to see Competition Day 1-Result)
The competition is streamed live on the WTF Web TV (www.wtf-taekwondo.tv) to deliver all semi-finals, 3rd-place matches and finals and half of the preliminary matches. Click here to see the time table to be live-streamed
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