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    • JoshMartini007

      With the 2022-23 season set to begin, the top men’s rugby sevens teams will have more of an incentive to perform well with Olympic quotas on the line. Along with the overall series title, the top four nations will also qualify a spot to the 2024 Olympics.
      The 2022-23 Men’s World Series will consist of 11 stops, up two from last season. Hong Kong (adding two stops, including the first which starts today), Australia (Sydney), New Zealand (Hamilton) and South Africa (Cape Town) are all returning after missing the last two season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Arab Emirates (Dubai) will only host one event this season while Spain (Malaga and Seville) has been completely dropped. See the current schedule below.

      The other big change is the amalgamation of England, Scotland and Wales into a single Great Britain team. Due to this, Japan avoided relegation while the 2022 Challenger Series winner, Uruguay will join the series as one of the 15-nation core team for the very first time. The other core nations include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, South Africa, Spain and the United States.
      Each tournament will consist of 16 teams, the core teams plus one invited team where the winner of the cup obtains 22 points. Second place gets 19 points, third 17 points decreasing down to 1 point for the joint 15th place finishers. At the end of the series, the nation with the most points will be the title winner along with the top 4 qualifying to the Olympics.
      The defending series champion is Australia who despite only winning a single event was the most consistent nation where they finished in the top four in 7/9 stops. They were closely followed by South Africa and defending World and Olympic champions Fiji.
      Olympic qualification will be hotly contested. Along with the above three teams, Argentina had a great season and won bronze at the Olympics. A qualification through the World Series here would make the continental qualifier more interesting with Uruguay and Chile looking to take advantage.
      Perennial powerhouse New Zealand will also seek to return to the top after missing out in the first half of the previous season. Ireland, bronze medalist from the World Cup could be considered a dark horse along with the newly combined power of Great Britain.

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    • Vojthas

      UEFA announced the start of a new competition for women. UEFA Nations League will serve as a qualifier for the Olympic Games and EURO or World Cup, starting from the upcoming edition.
      The Nations League starts in autumn 2023 with the format similar to the men's version of the competition. The teams will be divided into three leagues - Leagues A and B consist of 16 teams each while the League C will feature the remaining teams, depending on the number of entries. In each league there will be groups of four (or groups of three in group C, if the team number won't be divisible by four). The matches will be played with a typical league system - one home and one away match with all the other teams in the group.
      The Uefa Nations League finals will feature the winners of the League A groups. They will be played with a single knock-out format - the semi-finals, the final and the 3rd-place match. The finalists will get the quota for the Olympic Games. For Paris 2024, if France gets to the final, the third-placed team will fill the remaining UEFA place in the Olympic tournament.
      The next phase of the competition will be the European Qualifiers. The winners and runners-up of Leagu A will stay there, joined by the winners of League B. The fourth-placed teams will be relegated to the League B. Also the winners of League C will be promoted to the League B, replacing the lowest-ranked teams from that League (including the lowest-ranked third-placed teams, shall there be more than four groups in League C). The remaining teams play in the promotion/relegation matches - the third-placed teams from league A will play the League B runners-up, with the winners playing the League A and the losers in the League B. The League B third-placed teams will play with the best-ranked second-placed teams from League C with the same rule of promotion/relegation.
      For the UEFA Women's EURO Qualifier the 8 top teams of League A will have a direct qualification. The remaining slots will be filled by the two-round play-offs. The 8 low-ranked teams of League A will play the top 8 of League C in the first round, while the teams placed 1-3 in the League B will play each other in the six matches (winners and top 2 second-placed teams are seeded). The fourteen winners will advance to the second round of play-offs, with another home-and-away game deciding the final spots.
      Photo: Wojciech Nowakowski/Totallympics News

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    • Mkbw50

      China have again led the charge as the 50m and 25m events at the World Shooting Championships (Rifle and Pistol) came to a close. The Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, Men's Rapid Fire Pistol, Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions and Women's 50m Pistol events all took place at the championships in Cairo, Egypt. The top four athletes in each event earned their country a spot at Paris 2024.
      There were a couple of permutations: in each event, each athlete could only earn one place each, and those that have already done so (at the European Championships in Poland) could not earn another one.
      Starting on the Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, and 101 athletes entered, with Norway's Jon-Hermann Hegg and the Czech Republic's Petr Nymburský ineligible to earn a spot (having already done so in Poland), meaning that ninety-nine were eligible. There was an additional pre-qualifying round (the elimination relay), in which Hungary's Zalan Pekler topped the scoresheet with 593 hits out of six hundred, as the total was whittled down to seventy. The top eight would make it out of qualifying, with six hundred shots once more. It was China's Liu Yukun who was top with 596, with India's Swapnil Kusale on 593 (40x) and Ukraine's Serhiy Kulish on 593 (37x) in second and third. Polish duo Maciej Kowalewicz (37x) and Tomasz Bartnik (32x) were next on 592, with Hegg (30x) joining Jonghyun Kim (30x) of South Korea on 591. The eighth spot went to Germany's Maximilian Dallinger, who was on 590 (42x), and beat out Denmark's Steffen Olsen (36x) and Norway's Simon Claussen (35x) to the final spot by virtue of having more inner tens shot.
      To the ranking match, where all eight would face off, with two series each in all three positions. Then, the bottom two would be eliminated, with an additional series in the standing position, where two more would be eliminated, and then another series in that position, where two more would be eliminated and the remaining two would advance to the gold medal match. After two series of each, it would be Dallinger (305.7) and Kim (304.5) that would be eliminated. The German struggled with the standing position after doing creditably with the first two, while Kim couldn't recover after a bad start kneeling. After the next series, subpar performances eliminated Liu (357.0) and Kowalewicz (356.6). In the final series, Kulish extended his lead with a final score of 413.9 in the final, to join Bartnik who struggled somewhat but also had enough of a lead to go through with 409.4. Hegg closed the gap to 407.9 while Kusale had a bad series that cost him a big chance to make the final and finished fourth on 407.6. In the gold medal match, both athletes would take turns shooting, with the higher score earning the athlete two points (if they were tied, both would have one point), and the first to sixteen being crowned world champion. With the score at 8-6 to Kulish, the Ukrainian won the next four shots to claim a 16-6 win. Thus, the first quota spots went to Ukraine (Kulish) and Poland (Bartnik). The next would ordinarily go to Hegg, but as he already earned a spot at the European championships, the next spots went to India (Kusale) and China (Liu) instead.
      In the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol, seventy-eight athletes entered, with France's Clément Bessaguet and Germany's Oliver Geis earning a spot in Poland, the other seventy-six were eligible. In qualifying, there would be six hundred shots, with the top eight making it. Bessaguet topped qualifying with 589, with South Korea's Lee Gunhyeok (23x) and Germany's Christian Reitz (19x) on 586. China's Lu Zhiming was next on 585, with the Czech Republic's Matej Rampula (24x), Pakistan's Ghulam Mustafa Bashir (19x), South Korea's Lee Jaekyoon (19x), and Germany's Florian Peter (19x) all qualifying, and Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov (19x) just missing out: with the same number of tens, the next tiebreaker for the four was the last series: where Bashir earned 95 points, Lee and Peter 94, and Korostylov just 92. The ranking matches would be split into two matches of four, with the top two after four series of five (twenty shots) advancing. Bessaguet, Lee Jaekyon, Rampula, and Reitz were in the first match, but Lee's perfect second series was enough to carry him through. It was a three-way race for the second spot with Rampula on ten and both Bessaguet and Reitz on nine with one shot to go, but two misses for Rampula eliminated him while his adversaries got a perfect five. Thus, Bessaguet and Reitz entered a shoot-off, with the Frenchman winning 5-3. Lee was through on fifteen, as was Bessaguet on fourteen, while Reitz (fourteen) and Rampula (thirteen) missed out.
      In the other match, Bashir, Lee Gunhyeok, Lu, and Peter did battle. This race was much less close: Lee was through with sixteen alongside Bashir on fifteen, with Lu on thirteen and Peter on twelve. In the final, whoever was fourth would be eliminated after four series of five (twenty shots), with another eliminated after two more series (ten more shots), and a winner declared after two more. After twenty shots, both Bessaguet and Lee Gunhyeok had eighteen and were through, but Bashir and Lee Jaekyon both had fifteen: both missed their twentieth shot to avoid a shoot-off. In the shoot-off, it was tied 3-3, so another was held, with Bashir winning 5-3, eliminating one of the two South Koreans. But Bashir took just four of his next ten and was eliminated with nineteen hits to claim bronze. Meanwhile, Lee Jaekyon had hit nine of those ten while Bessaguet could only hit five, opening a 27-23 lead. But Lee missed six of the next four, finishing on thirty-one: his French opponent needed eight for a shoot-off, or nine for victory, but could only manage seven to finish on thirty. Thus, Lee Jaekyon was champion and earned the first quota for South Korea. With Bessaguet ineligible having already won a spot in Poland, the next spot went to Bashir. Lee Gunhyeok was ineligible as well as South Korea already had a quota in this event. For the final two spots, scores in the ranking round were compared. Reitz earned the first spot, meaning Germany have now a full team of two in this event, with the other spot going to China (Lu): tied with Rampula, Lu got the nod based on superior qualification.
      102 entered 50m Rifle 3 Positions qualification, with Denmark's Rikke Maeng Ibsen and the Czech Republic's Veronika Blažíčková already qualified, meaning one hundred remained who could. China's Shi Mengyao qualified top with 590 in the elimination relay, as the final seventy took off, again fighting for eight positions over sixty shots (and a maximum of six hundred points). China's Miao Wanru (32x) and Norway's Jenny Stene (28x) were top, ahead of Norwegian Jeanette Hegg Duestad on 591. The USA's Sagen Maddalena was next on 590, with Mongolia's Yesugen Oyunbat on 589. It was hugely close for the last three spots with five shooters on 587. Lee Eunseo of South Korea (33x), India's Anjum Moudgil (31x) and Austria's Nadine Ungerank (28x) all qualified, with Germany's Lisa Mueller (28x) and Switzerland's Nina Christen (27x) missing out: Ungerank getting the nod ahead of Mueller due to a better score on the final standing series (98-97).         
      The format for the ranking match was the same as in the men's event. Both Oyunbat (301.1) and Ungerank (300.6) struggled in the standing position and this was their downfall as they were the first to go. The same could be said about Lee (356.8) and Moudgil (355.4) and they couldn't recover in the final series and also were eliminated. Stene (412.5) and Miao (411.4) had strong final series and had also been the most consistent, putting them through to the gold medal match ahead of Duestad (410.0) and Maddalena (409.9). In the gold medal match, Stene opened a 10-4 lead before losing the next four to go 12-10 down. Miao was world champion after winning 17-13 in the end. Therefore, the first places went to China (Miao) and Norway (Stene). With Norway having already gotten a place, Duestad was ineligible for the next spot, so it went to the USA (Maddalena) instead, with South Korea (Lee) getting the last place.
      Finally, in the Women's 25m Pistol, ninety-one entered: German Doreen Vennekamp and Pole Klaudia Breś had already qualified meaning eighty-nine were eligible. In qualifying, where the maximum score was six hundred, Vennekamp was top on 590, with Iranian Haniyeh Rostamiyan next on 588. Indian Rhythm Sangwan was next on 587, ahead of Bulgarian Antoaneta Kostadinova on 586. France's Mathilde Lamolle was next on 585 (21x), ahead of China's Chen Yan, also on 585 (21x) by virtue of a superior final series: 100-99. South Korea's Kim Jangmi was seventh on 584, with a close-run four-way tie for 583 and the final spot, with Greece's Anna Korakaki (28x) just beating out German Monika Karsch (23x), Indian Manu Bhaker (19x) and Michelle Skeries (15x), also of Germany. The ranking matches worked just like the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol, with Kim, Lamolle, Sangwan and Vennekamp. Lamolle was well behind after three series with six, with Sangwan leading on eleven, Kim on ten (having missed three of her last five in the third series) and Vennekamp on nine. However, Sangwan remarkably missed all five of her final shots to get eliminated: Vennekamp and Kim went through on fourteen, Sangwan was eliminated on eleven ahead of Lamolle on ten.
      In the other ranking match it was Chen, Korakaki, Kostadinova, and Rostamiyan who were doing battle. Kostadinova led after three with twelve hits, with Rostamiyan on ten edging out Chen and Korakaki on nine. However, Rostamiyan only hit one of her final four while Korakaki only hit two. Thus it was Kostadinova (sixteen) who went through with Chen (thirteen), and Rostamiyan and Korakaki both missed out on eleven. In the medal match, Kostadinova lost her form and missed all shots in the third series, and was generally shaky, hitting just eight out of twenty and was eliminated miles behind. With the medallists decided, it was a tight battle as with Chen in front on fifteen after foru series, Kim and Vennekamp were both on fourteen with one to go. Chen was perfect to mean she was pretty much safe in the fifth, and Kim hit four and Vennekamp hit three. In the next, both were perfect, meaning the German was eliminated and won bronze on twenty-two. Meanwhile, both Chen (who missed two in the sixth series) and Kim were both on twenty-three. Chen had the advantage, 28-27 after hitting a perfect seventh series, but opened the door by missing two in her final series. Kim hit a perfect five to win gold, 32-31. The first quotas went to South Korea (Kim) and China (Chen). Vennekamp was ineligible having already won a spot, so the next place went to Bulgaria (Kostadinova). The next spot was based on ranking round, but with Korakaki, Rostamiyan, and Sangwan all level on eleven, Iran got the final place based on Rostamiyan's superior qualifying performance.
      With these championships now wrapped up, the next chance to watch shooting places be decided for Olympic places is the CAT XIII Championship in Lima, Peru, next month.
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

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    • Mkbw50

      Chinese shooters had a good couple of days in Cairo, Egypt at the World Shooting Championships (Rifle and Pistol), a qualifying event for the Olympic Games.
      In both the 10m Air Rifle and 10m Air Pistol events, for both men and women, the first four athletes would qualify a place, with the caveat of at most one per NOC. Qualifying one man and one woman would also guarantee a spot in the mixed team events for a particular event.
      Starting on the men's side with the 10m Air Rifle, and 119 entered in total. In qualification, where there would be six series of ten shots each and the top eight would qualify, Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil of India  led with 633.9. Sheng Lihao of China was next on 633.2, ahead of Iranian Amir Mohammad Nekounam with 632.5. China's Yang Haoran was next with 632.1, with Danilo Dennis Sollazzo of Italy in fifth with 631.9. Kiran Ankush Jadhav was the second Indian with 630.6, with Alexis Renaud of France (630.1) and Jiri Privratsky from the Czech Republic (630.0) finishing the list, with Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine just missing out on 629.9.
      The octet advanced to the ranking round where they would shoot at targets in series of five. After three series, the bottom two were eliminated and this would be repeated after four and five until two remained to go to the gold medal match. After three series it was Reynaud (154.9) and Jadhav (154.2) that were eliminated, with Privratsky (207.7) and Nekounam (207.2) eliminated after four. With the shooters pretty closely matched, Sollazzo hit a 53.1 in the final series to qualify top with 262.7, and Patil was in second with 261.9. Sheng nearly caught up with Patil but had to settle for bronze with 261.8, while Yang finished on 260.2.
      The gold medal match is consisted of the two athletes taking turns to shoot one shot each. The more accurate shot will earn two points, with a tie yielding one each, and the winner is the first to reach sixteen points. After tying the first two shots, Sollazzo won the next two to lead 6-2, and extended that lead to 10-4. That lead was 13-9, but Patil took the next four to win it 17-13. Therefore, the first quotas go to India (Patil), Italy (Sollazzo), and China (Sheng). The next would ordinarily go to Yang, but as China have already claimed a quota in this event, it goes to the Czech Republic (Privratsky) instead.
      Going to the 10m Air Pistol, where 128 entered, and there were six series of ten shots each, this time without decimal scoring. China's Zhang Yifan topped qualifying with 589 ahead of compatriot Zhang Bowen on 587, with Pakistan's Gulfam Joseph next on 586. Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov was the top non-Asian on 584, with compatriot Viktor Bankin on 583 (26x) just ahead of India's Shiva Narwal on 583 (25x). Liu Jinyao was the third Chinese on 582 (23x), while Lee Wonho of South Korea got the final spot with 582 (20x), just ahead of India's Naveen Naveen on 582 (19x) and three shooters on 581. In the ranking match, the format was the same as the Air Rifle, with decimal scoring used. After three series it was Bankin (148.1) and Narwal (147.6) eliminated, while after four Zhang Bowen (200.0) and Joseph (198.4) were gone. After five the gap widened, with Zhang Yifan (254.4) and Liu (252.5) in the gold medal match, while Korostylov (251.0) and Lee (250.7) missed out. Therefore, it was Zhang Yifan against Liu for gold. Zhang opened up a 10-2 lead, but Liu came back to 10-8, before Zhang re-established supremacy with a 15-9 lead. However, remarkably, with Zhang just needing a point in his last four shots, Liu won all four to win a stunning 17-15 turnaround victory.
      Therefore, the first quota went to China (Liu). Normally, the next would go to Zhang Yifan, but seeing as China already had a place, it went to Ukraine (Korostylov), with the next going to South Korea. Zhang Bowen was ineligible for the same reason, so Pakistan (Joseph) got the final spot.
      On the women's side, and starting with the 10m Air Rifle, where 139 athletes entered, the USA's Alison Marie Weisz led qualification with 633.6, ahead of China's Wang Zhilin on 631.6, Keum Jihyeon of South Korea on 631.2, and Great Britain's Seonaid McIntosh on 630.6. Huang Yuting of China (630.4), Julia Ewa Piotrowska of Poland (630.2), Oceanne Muller of France (630.1) and Zhang Yu of China (630.0) got the final spots. In the ranking match, it was Wang (154.8) and Muller (153.1) who were eliminated first, with McIntosh just surviving on 154.9. It wouldn't last long however, with Keum (205.9) joining the Brit (205.4) who were significantly adrift and eliminated. Huang topped it easily on 264.5 ahead of Weisz on 261.3, with Zhang (260.1) and Piotrowska on (259.2) eliminated.
      Thus, Huang took on Weisz for gold. Weisz took an 8-4 lead but Huang recovered to 12-12 and then a 14-12 lead. However, Weisz won the next two to take home the gold medal. Therefore, the first two spots went to the United States (Weisz) and China (Huang). With China having already got a place, Zhang was skipped and instead Poland (Piotrowska) got the next spot, with South Korea (Keum) getting the final one. This result confirms that China will have a place in the mixed team event, with Sheng Lihao qualifying in the men's event.
      Finally, in the Women's 10m Air Pistol, China's Jiang Ranxin topped the qualifying list of 111 shooters with 591, with Zorana Arunovic of Serbia second with 590. Anna Korakaki of Greece was third with 585 (22x) alongside Kazakhstan's Irina Yunusmetova, also on 585 (17x). Chinese duo Li Xue and Lu Kaiman both had 584 (25x), with Li's nose in front due to total number of tens. Finally, Armenia's Elmira Karapetyan (582) and Ukraine's Olena Kostevych (580) got the final spots. In the ranking match, it was Jiang (149.4) and Kostevych (149.2) that were eliminated after three series. Karapetyan (200.9) and Yunusemtova (199.5) were eliminated after four. Li was in a good place to qualify but hit a 49.7 in the final series with only one of her shots getting above 10.0 shots, costing her a medal. It was Arunovic (253.9) and Li (253.0) that were eliminated, with Korakaki (255.6) and Lu (254.0) qualifying. In the gold medal match, Lu took an early 6-2 lead, then extended it to 14-6. Korakaki took the next two shots, but lost the next and Lu won gold with a 16-10 victory.
      This means that the first quotas went to China (Lu), Greece (Korakaki), and Serbia (Arunovic). Li was ineligible to get the fourth one as China had already got a place. Therefore, the place went to Armenia (Karapetyan) instead. With Liu Jinyao qualifying in the men's event, that confirms China's place in the mixed team.
      A great performance from the Chinese team and they will be delighted with that. The 25m and 50m come later this month, with the next chance to see these events at the CAT Championships next month in Lima, Peru.
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

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    • Mkbw50

      The rifle and pistol shooters of the world will congregate in Cairo, Egypt, for the 2022 ISSF World Championship (Rifle/Pistol), a major Olympic qualifier. Four places will be up for grabs in eight events, with ramifications for a further two events.
      The Egypt International Olympic City will play host to the event. A large complex that is scheduled to be finished this year, it is set to among other things be the new host to Egypt's football team, and it will become the second largest stadium in Africa as Egypt looks to bring the Olympics to the continent for the first time in 2036.
      Four places will be earned in eight events: the Men's 10m Air Rifle, 10m Air Pistol, 50m Rifle 3 Positions, and Rapid Fire Pistol, and the Women's 10m Air Rifle, 10m Air Pistol, 50m Rifle 3 Positions, and 25m Pistol. Only one place per NOC can be earned per event at this championships, and those who have already qualified a place for their country cannot qualify a further place. This is the first event for 10m events, but for 50m and 25m events the European Championships were held in Wrocław, Poland. Norway's Jon-Hermann Hegg and the Czech Republic's Petr Nymburský have already qualified in the Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions, and France's Clément Bessaguet and Germany's Oliver Geis already qualified in the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol. On the women's side, Denmark's Rikke Maeng Ibsen and the Czech Republic's Veronika Blažíčková already qualified a place in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions, while Germany's Doreen Veenekamp and Poland's Claudia Breś have done so in the 25m Pistol. All eight are in attendance here. In the 10m Air Rifle and 10m Air Pistol events, qualifying one man and one woman will also ensure qualification to the mixed team event, for which there is no seperate qualification.
      Starting the preview of events on the men's side, in the 10m Air Rifle a number of talents are on display. American Olympic champion William Shaner and his fellow medallists Sheng Lihao and Yang Haoran (both of China) return. In fact, of the eight Olympic finalists, only last-placed Vladimir Maslennikov is not in attendance, no Russian shooters are. This means Sergey Kamenskiy cannot defend his title from 2018, but fellow medallists Petar Gorša and Miran Maričić, both of Croatia, are present. Moving to the 10m Air Pistol, and Iranian Olympic champion Javad Foroughi returns, as does Serbian Damir Mikec who was runner-up. Bronze medalist Pang Wei of China is not, but three other Olympic finalists are. The top two in Changwon four years ago (South Korea's Jin Jing-oh and Russia's Artem Chernousov) do not return, but third-placed Lee Dae-myung of South Korea is here.
      In the 50m Rifle 3 Positions, Chinese Olympic champion Zhang Changhong returns, but as stated earlier runner-up Kamenskiy does not. Serbia's Milenko Sebić, who won bronze in Tokyo also returns, as do all six of the finalists not from Belarus (for whom there are also no competitors) or Russia. Poland's Tomasz Bartnik returns to defend his title, as does runner-up Maričić but not American bronze medallist Michael McPhail. The Czech Republic's Jiri Privratsky and Slovakia's Patrik Jany, who narrowly missed out on a place in Wrocław, will also hope to qualify here. In the Rapid Fire Pistol, France's Olympic champion Jean Quiquampoix is back, as are minor medallists Leuris Pupo (Cuba) and Li Yuehong (China), but only one other Olympic finalist. Chinese reigning world champion Lin Junmin does not return to defend his title, nor does his compatriot Zhang Jian who came second to Lin in Changwon in an event Quiquampoix won bronze in. Other big names include Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov and the Czech Republic's Martin Strnad: both made the final in Poland last month but just missed out on a qualification place.
      Over to the women's side, and again starting with the 10m Air Rifle, Chinese Olympic champion Yang Qian is not on the start list and Russian runner-up Anastasia Galashina is also obviously not there, but Switzerland's Nina Christen, who one bronze is present, as are three other Olympic finalists. South Korea's Im Ha-na who won gold on home soil four years ago does not defend her title, while minor medallists Anjum Moudgil (India) and Jung Eun-ha (South Korea) are also not present, leading to a potentially very open field. In the 10m Air Pistol, Russian Olympic champion Vitalina Batsarashkina is not here, but minor medallists Antoaneta Kostadinova (Bulgaria) and Jiang Ranxin (China) are, alongside four other Olympic finalists. Among them are Greece's Anna Korakaki, defending world champion, while minor medallists in Changwon Zorana Arunović (Serbia) and Kim Bo-mi (South Korea) also return.
      In the 50m Rifle 3 Positions, Olympic champion Christen returns, but as the minor medallists Yulia Zykova and Yulia Karimova are both Russian they do not. All of the other Olympic finalists are in attendance however. Karimova cannot defend her world title, with Germany's Isabella Straub and Croatia's Snježana Pejčić, who won silver and bronze in Changwon also not present. Daria Tykhova (Ukraine) and Jeanette Hegg Duestad (Norway), who both missed out narrowly on qualification in Poland will hope to gain a place here. Finally, in the 25m pistol, Olympic champion Batsarashkina is not present, and neither is South Korean runner up Kim Min-jung, but Chinese bronze medallist Xiao Jiaruixuan is in attendance. Ukraine's Olena Kostevych defends her title, with Changwon runner-up Batsarashkina not attending, but Vennekamp who won bronze at that competition attending with qualification already earned in Poland. Speaking of Poland, many athletes that missed out narrowly there are not in attendance, leading to a potentially open field.
      The Opening Ceremony of the event is on 13 October, with the first Olympic events being the 10m Air Rifle events which will take place entirely on 14 October, with the 10m Air Pistol events next on 15 October. The Women's 25m Pistol begins on 21 October, with the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol beginning on 22 October, both have their finals on 22 October. The 50m Rifle 3 Positions competitions are from 20-21 October (women) and 21-22 October (men).
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

      685 • 0

    • Mkbw50

      Egypt's Azmy Mehelba and Italy's Diana Bacosi are the new world champions in Skeet after victory at the 2022 World Championships (Shotgun) in Osijek, Croatia.
      The top four athletes in both Men's and Women's Skeet would earn a spot at Paris 2024, with a number of stipulations. Athletes that had already qualified a place for their country could not earn a place, and only one athlete per country could earn a place at the Games at this event. Countries that qualify in both genders also get a place in the mixed team event.
      126 athletes entered the men's competition, with all eligible for qualification apart from the Czech Republic's Jakub Tomeček, who already qualified a place at the European Championships (Shotgun) in Larnaca, Cyprus. All would enter qualifying, and the top eight after 125 shots would go through. Sweden's Stefan Nilsson led the way with a perfect 125, while Christian Elliott of the United States was in second with 124. There was a three-way tie for third, with France's Eric Delaunay, the USA's Vincent Hancock and the Czech Republic's Radek Prokop all on 123. This was resolved by shoot-off, with Hancock beating Delaunay by 32-31, with Prokop on six. There was also a three-way tie for sixth, with Qatar's Rashid Saleh al-Athba, Mehelba, and Italy's Gabriele Rossetti all on 122 hits. Mehelba beat Rossetti in the shoot-off 22-21, with al-Athba getting no hits and coming eighth.
      Next came the ranking matches, where the eight finalists would be split into two groups of four. After twenty shots, fourth would be removed, and then after thirty, the top two advanced to the medal match. Hancock, Nilsson, Prokop and Rossetti. After twenty shots, Hancock led on eighteen, with Nilsson, Prokop and Rossetti all on seventeen; the Italian was eliminated due to having the worst qualification score. Of the next eight shots, Hancock and Prokop hit all eight while Nilsson hit seven: Hancock led with twenty-six, Prokop was on twenty-five, and Nilsson twenty-four. But Prokop missed both his final shots to see a place in the medal match slip away as Nilsson hit both of his: it was Hancock (twenty-seven) and Nilson (twenty-six) that qualified, ahead of Prokop on twenty-five. In the other match, al-Athba, Delaunay, Elliott, and Mehelba were the ones to enter. After twenty shots, al-Athba and Mehelba led on nineteen, with Elliott on eighteen and Delaunay eliminated on seventeen. All three hit nine of their next ten, meaning Mehelba and al-Athba went through on twenty-eight ahead of Elliott on twenty-seven.
      Therefore, it was al-Athba, Hancock, Mehelba, and Nilsson that entered the medal match. After twenty shots, fourth place would be eliminated; after thirty, third place would, and after forty we would have a winner. At the twenty-shot mark, both Hancock and Mehelba had hit a perfect twenty, with al-Athba on nineteen and Nilsson eliminated on seventeen. In the next ten shots, Mehelba extended his perfect run to gain the lead as both al-Athba and Hancock missed one, the Qatari being elimianted on twenty-eight. Therefore, with ten shots to go, Mehelba led Hancock 30-29. Both hit their first six shots perfectly, with one final round of four each to go. Mehelba stepped up first, and hit another perfect four, meaning Hancock could no longer catch him. A Golden Hit was declared and the Egyptian was world champion. Therefore, the quotas go to Egypt, the United States, Qatar, and Sweden. The other quotas earned so far have been to hosts France and for Italy and the Czech Republic in Larnaca.
      On the women's side, sixty-three athletes entered, all of whom were eligible for qualification bar Great Britain's Amber Hill and Germany's Nadine Messerschmidt after their successful performance in Larnaca. In qualification, it was Hill that led with 123 hits, with a three-way tie for second as France's Lucie Anastassiou, Vanesa Hockova of Slovakia, and the USA's Austen Jewell Smith on 122. Hockova beat Smith 4-3 in the shoot-off, with Anastassiou getting one hit. There was a two-way tie for fifth, with Bacosi and American Samantha Simonton both on 121; the latter taking the shoot-off 4-3. Slovakian Danka Bartekova came seventh on 120, while the eighth and final spot went to a shoot-off with both Thailand's Isarapa Imprasertsuk and Ukraine's Iryna Malovichko on 119, the Ukrainian taking in 4-3.
      Onto the ranking matches, with the first being populated by Bartekova, Hill, Simonton, and Smith. After twenty shots, Simonton led with eighteen, with Hill on seventeen and both Smith and Bartekova on sixteen, the Slovakian eliminated due to her inferior qualifying performance: she missed her decisive final shot. However, Smith could not take advantage of this lifeline: with Hill and Simonton both qualifying on twenty-seven shots, she ended on twenty-four and was eliminated. In the other ranking match, Anastassiou, Bacosi, Hockova and Malovichko. After twenty shots, Bacosi led with nineteen, with Hockova on eighteen, Malovichko on seventeen and Anastassiou eliminated on sixteen after missing her final shot. Bacosi maintained her lead to qualify with twenty-eight shots, as Hockova joined her on twenty-seven and Malovichko was eliminated on twenty-five.
      Thus, in the final it was Bacosi, Hill, Hockova and Simonton that met. After twenty shots, Bacosi was way in the lead with nineteen hits, leading Hill and Simonton on seventeen; Hockova was eliminated on fifteen. While Bacosi extended her lead, in the next six shots Hill had missed one and Simonton had hit a perfect six, but the American then missed three of her final four while Hill hit all four to soldier on, Simonton eliminated with a final total on twenty-four. But Bacosi did not miss again and her victory was made certain when she hit her 37th target (out of thirty-eight) to extend her lead to six with only four shots left for Hill: a Golden Hit was declared. The quotas would have gone to Italy, Great Britain, the United States, and Slovakia. However, as Hill already qualified in Larnaca, her quota was re-allocated to fifth-placed Malovichko, who was the highest scoring in the Ranking Matches not to qualify. Therefore, the quotas go to Italy, the United States, Slovakia, and Ukraine, who join hosts France as well as Great Britain and Germany in this event. This also means that the United States and Italy have qualified an athlete in both genders, so they will enter the mixed team competition, joining hosts France.
      The next chance to see shooting qualifiers for the Games will be the World Championships (Rifle and Pistol) in Cairo, Egypt, from 12-25 October. The next chance for athletes to qualify in the skeet event will be at the 2022 CAT XIII Championship in Lima, Peru, from 4-14 November.
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

      564 • 0

    • Mkbw50

      The United States have compounded their dominance over women's basketball with victory in the 2022 FIBA Women's World Cup, clinching a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
      With the final round taking place at the Sydney SuperDome in Sydney, Australia, the US faced off with a Serbia team in the quarter-finals and showed their dominance with an 88-55 victory. They would face Canada in the semifinals after a rampant first-half display guided them to a 79-60 win. On the other side of the bracket, China beat France 85-71 thanks to Li Meng contributing 23 points, and Australia found Belgium lightwork with an 86-69 victory; the gap was fifteen points by half time.
      In the semifinals, Canada took on the United States but the gap in quality was too much to bear, with the US winning 83-43 after taking a twenty point lead in the first quarter. Next, Australia faced China. In one of the best games in Women's World Cup history, a back and forth encounter, it was 59-59 apiece with seconds to go. But when Wang Siyu was fouled by Sami Whitcomb, the Shandong Six Stars guard sunk both free throws to earn China a 61-59 win.
      Australia would have to settle for a third place play-off, where they beat Canada 95-65 where Lauren Jackson contributed a mammoth thirty points. The final would be between China and the USA, and China had impressed all tournament but the Americans were on another level, having already beaten them in the group stage. There would be no dramatic last-moment victories this time: the US were just consistently better and won 83-61, becoming world champions for the eleventh time (and fourth in a row), and earning a spot to the Paris Olympics.
      The FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (February 2024) will decide the other ten places, with hosts France also having qualified for the twelve-team tournament in Paris.
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

      546 • 0

    • JoshMartini007

      With the opening ceremony set to begin Saturday evening, about 4700 of the best athletes in South America have arrived in Paraguay to compete at the 2022 South American Games. The games are going to be held in the capital city of Asuncion from October 1st to October 15th 2022.
      The athletes represent 15 nations, with Curacao set to compete for the first time. The constituent country, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands previously competed as part of the Netherlands Antilles prior to its dissolution. Also competing are Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.
      Overall, 412 events are scheduled to take place across 36 sports. This includes 28/32 sports set to be held at the 2024 Olympics (missing breaking, modern pentathlon, sport climbing and surfing) along with bocce, bodybuilding, bowling, chess, karate, padel, squash and water skiing.
      Not only will athletes strive to win gold for their nation, but the South American Games are also qualifiers in 18 sports and will provide direct quotas to compete at the 2023 Pan American Games. The table below gives a breakdown of those qualifiers.
      Quotas to Pan Am Games
      Artistic Swimming – Top two eligible teams (plus Chile) will qualify a team and duet and top two eligible duets will compete in the duet.
      Diving – 10-12 athletes in men’s events and 10-12 athletes in women’s events
      Open Water – Top seven (plus Chile) eligible athletes per gender
      Water Polo – Two highest ranked eligible teams plus Chile
      Gold medalists in the men’s and women’s individual recurve and compound events
      Gold medalists of each individual event will be eligible to compete. Additionally, the gold and silver medalists of the five relay events will qualify.
      The three best men’s and women’s nations with the best combined score by their two athletes.
      Gold and silver medalists in each event.
      Track – The highest ranked eligible nation from each event.
      Mountain – The highest ranked eligible nation from each event.
      Dressage – Two highest ranked teams, three highest ranked individuals without a team.
      Jumping – Three highest ranked teams, four highest ranked individuals without a team.
      Field Hockey
      Two highest ranked eligible teams
      Two highest ranked eligible teams
      Two highest ranked eligible athletes in each individual event.
      Roller Sports
      Speed skating – Highest ranked eligible athlete in each gender after combining the results of the sprint or distance events will qualify their nation (2 men and 2 women).
      Rugby Sevens
      Two highest ranked eligible teams.
      Highest ranked eligible athlete will qualify their nation.
      Gold medalists from the team events
      Table Tennis
      Highest ranked eligible men’s and women’s teams
      Gold and silver medalists in each individual event.
      Gold medalist in the mixed relay
      Water Skiing
      Gold medalists in each wakeboard event.
      As the Pan American Games will be a qualifying event to the 2024 Olympics, the South American Games can be considered the first step for Olympic qualification for the region. Of the 18 sports offering direct quotas to the Pan American Games, 9 sports; (aquatics (artistic swimming, diving, water polo), archery, boxing, equestrian, field hockey, handball, shooting, table tennis and tennis) will offer direct quotas to the Olympics while in athletics and cycling, athletes will be able to earn world ranking points.
      The first medals are set to be awarded on Sunday where 38 events across 8 sports will be decided.

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    • Mkbw50

      The FEI Nations Cup 2022 has shown some of the best jumpers from each area battle against each other, but now they will fight on the global stage in the final at Barcelona, Spain.
      With the added initiative of a spot at the Olympics for the winning team (alongside three individual places), there will be much at stake for those competing at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona (Barcelona Royal Polo Club), a multi-sport club which among other things boasts the 2004 European champions in men's hockey and also hosted this event at the 1992 Olympics.
      The final would be made up of seven teams from "Europe Division 1", two from North and Central America, South America, the Middle East, and Asia/Africa, with one from Africa and Eurasia, plus hosts Spain. There were six European qualifiers, with nine countries entering: the top seven would earn points. These countries were Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Each entered four of the six qualifiers. France lead with 370 points after an impressive win in Hickstead, while the Netherlands were second on 350 with a win on home soil in Rotterdam. In third were the Germans on 330 points after they won in Sopot, while Ireland were in fourth on 310 after a win in the final event in Dublin. Switzerland were close on 305, winning the first event in St Gallen, while a win in Falsterbo gave Belgium sixth with 285 points. Great Britain won the final spot on 265 points, ahead of Norway and Sweden who were on 215 each. The qualifier for the Middle East would be in Abu Dhabi, with the UAE the highest-performing eligible team in second, qualifying alongside Saudi Arabia in fifth and beating out Jordan in sixth, Syria withdrew. However, neither the UAE, Saudi Arabia nor substitutes Jordan accepted the invitation to compete at the final, so Norway and Sweden took their place. In the North/Central American qualifier, the USA's elimination in Coapexpan cost them: Mexico topped the table with 190 points ahead of Canada on 160, the US missed out on sixty.
      For South America, the qualifier was the 2022 World Championship. Brazil, in ninth place, were the highest performing South American team, while Argentina in 21st beat out Colombia in 22nd for the final spot. For Africa, it would be the highest ranked country in the July world rankings: 34th placed Nayel Nassar of Egypt earned them a place, but they rejected it. The substitutes South Africa (Oliver Lazarus was in joint 218th) and Morocco (with Abdelkabir Ouaddar in joint 626th) also rejected a place, meaning that the total teams dropped to seventeen. For the Asia/Australasia region, the same ranking would be used, with Australia's Rowan Willis in 64th and Japan's Mike Kawai in 205th earning a place. However, both rejected it, as did subs New Zealand (with Sharn Wordley in join 345th) and Chinese Taipei (with Jasmine Shao-Man Chen and Isheau Wong both in joint 2295th), meaning that the total dropped further to fifteen. Finally, the Eurasian qualifier took place with Uzbekistan on 270 points beating Kyrgyzstan on 240 and Kazakhstan on 210, but the Uzbeks also rejected their place. With Spain also taking part, fourteen teams would make the final.
      France have already qualified for the Games as hosts, while Sweden, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany all qualified at the World Championships. As Spain did not qualify outright but only as hosts, they are also ineligible to get a place. Thus, seven teams are eligible: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Norway, and Switzerland. Belgium, in seventh, were the highest-performing of these teams at the World Championships in Herning and three of the four team members from that championships return. Switzerland, Brazil, and Canada took the next three places, with Mexico eighteenth, Norway nineteenth, and Argentina 21st.
      The event takes place from 29 September to 1 October, with the top eight in the first competition making the final. The top team eligible will make the Olympics in Paris.

      743 • 0

    • Mkbw50

      The United States' Derrick Scott Mein and France's Carole Cormenier won gold medals as they won spots at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games during the 2022 ISSF World Championship (Shotgun) in Osijek, Croatia.
      With four places up for grabs in both the Men's and Women's Trap competitions, there was plenty of intrigue as to who would pick up an early spot.
      In the men's event, the Czech Republic's Jiri Liptak and Sweden's Rickard Levin-Andersson had already qualified and were ineligible. In total there were 157 athletes, meaning 155 were eligible to pick up a place. With 125 targets to shoot in qualifying, the top eight would advance. Leading off was Chinese Taipei's Yang Kun-Pi with 123 hits, while Mein was in second with 122. There was a four-way tie for third as Rashid Hamad SA al-Athba of Qatar, Peru's Alessandro de Souza Ferreira, Great Britain's Nathan Hales and India's Bhowneesh Mendiratta all hit 121 targets. In the first shoot-off, de Souza Ferreira booked his place in third with two hits, while the other three could only manage one, leading to another shoot-off. Here, Mendiratta hit three targets with the other two only hitting two, confirming the Indian in fourth and mandating another shoot-off between al-Athba and Hales. It was the Britain who took it 2-1 to confirm fifth spot. There was an eleven-way tie for seventh as Kuwait's Abdulrahman Al Faihan, Australia's Nathan Steven Argiro, Portugal's Joao Azevedo, France's Clement Borgue, Greece's Ioannis Chatzitsakiroglou, Spain's Alberto Fernandez, Croatian brothers Anton Glasnovic and Josip Glasnovic, Moroccan Driss Haffari, GB's Aaron Heading and New Zealand's Owen Robinson. Borgue took seventh with eight hits in the shoot-off, while Heading took the final spot with seven. Chatzitsakrioglou and Haffari missed out with five, ahead of Robinson on four, Azevedo on three, Anton Glasnovic, Fernandez, and Josip Glasnovic on two, Argiro on one, and Al Faihan on zero.
      With the eight decided, it was time for the ranking matches. In the first match, Borgue, de Souza Ferreira, Hales, and Yang met, with one athlete eliminated after fifteen shots and another eliminated after a further ten: the other two would proceed to the medal match. After fourteen shots, Hales had thirteen hits, while Borgue, de Souza Ferreira and Yang all had twelve, but the Peruvian missed his fifteenth shot to get eliminated while both Borgue and Yang continued with a hit. Seven shots later, and Hales still had the advantage, with twenty shots compared to nineteen for Borgue and Yang. Yang missed his next shot to give Borgue the advantage, it was now 20-19 in their battle. But in the next shot both Borgue and Hales missed, meaning Hales had twenty-one hits and Borgue and Yang both had twenty. Remarkably, Hales hit the next shot to top the match with twenty-two, but Borgue and Yang both missed. It would go to a shoot-off, which Yang took 1-0, putting him through to the medal match. In the other ranking match, al-Athba, Heading, Mein, and Mendiratta faced off, with Heading wasting an opportunity by missing his final shot to be eliminated with eleven hits after fifteen. Mein lead with all fifteen with Mendiratta not too far behind on fourteen; al-Athba on twelve had work to do, but hit his next ten perfectly. Mendiratta did the same to top the match with twenty-four, but after hitting his first twenty-two shots perfectly, Mein missed three in a row to mandate a shoot-off with al-Athba, which he did win 5-4.
      So Hales, Mein, Mendiratta, and Yang went through to the medal match, where after fifteen shots, an athlete would be eliminated, and then again after twenty-five and thirty-five. It was tense after fifteen, with Hales, Mein, and Yang all on fourteen hits and Mendiratta eliminated on fifteen. Hales and Mein both hit their next ten perfectly but Yang had to settle for bronze as he only hit nine for a final total of twenty-three. That meant that Hales and Mein were twenty-four apiece going into the final ten shots, but Hales blinked first, missing his fifth hit to give Mein a 29-28 lead with five shots to go. Mein hit his next four perfectly, with Hales missing his fourth shot, meaning a golden hit was declared with Mein 33-31 up with just one shot to go. Therefore, the quotas went to the United States, Great Britain, Chinese Taipei, and India.
      On the women's side, Great Britain's Lucy Charlotte Hall was ineligible having already qualified. With 81 shooters, that meant eighty had the right to earn a place in Paris. Slovakia's Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova lead qualifying with 122 hits, with a tie for second between Cormenier and China's Wang Xiaojing on 119 points; Wang winning the shoot-off 2-1. There was another tie for fourth between Portugal's Maria Ines Coelho de Barros and Australia's Catherine Skinner both getting 118 hits, and the Australian took the shoot-off 3-2. For sixth, another tie, with Spain's Fatima Galvez and Australia's Laetisha Scanlan both racking up 117 hits, and Galvez took that shoot-off 1-0. There was a three-way tie for the eighth and final spot, with Ray Bassil of Lebanon, Mariya Dmitriyenko of Kazakhstan, and Kathrin Murche of Germany all on 116: Dmitriyenko took it with five hits, ahead of Murche on four and Bassil on one.
      Coelho de Barros, Cormenier, Rehak Stefecekova, and Scanlan met in the first ranking match. There was a clear leader after fifteen hits, with Rehak Stefecekova hitting all fifteen, ahead of Cormenier on thirteen, Coelho de Barros on twelve and the eliminated Scanlan on eleven. Rehak Stefecekova finished with a perfect twenty-five, while Cormenier pipped Coelho de Barros 22-20 for the other spot. In the other match, Dmitriyenko, Galvez, Skinner, and Wang met, with some mistakes being shown early on. Galvez led after fifteen shots with thirteen hits, ahead of Wang on twelve. Skinner and Dmitriyenko were both on eleven, with the Kazakh eliminated due to her inferior score in qualification. Skinner then hit her next ten shots perfectly, and with Galvez and Wang missing two each, it was the Chinese shooter eliminated: Skinner and Galvez both had twenty-one over Wang's twenty.
      So the medal match was made up of Cormenier, Galvez, Rehak Stefecekova and Skinner. After fifteen shots, Cormenier and Galvez led with fourteen, with Rehak Stefecekova on twelve and Skinner eliminated on ten. Ten shots later, Cormenier led with twenty-three, with Galvez on twenty-one and Rehak Stefecekova on twenty. Cormenier had given Galvez a potential opening after missing her third shot of the final ten, but Galvez missed her ninth shot, re-establishing the two-hit advantage and with one shot to go, a Golden Hit was declared with Cormenier 33-31 up. The quotas therefore went to France, Spain, Slovakia, and Australia. This means that a host quota will now be reallocated to the Olympic Ranking.
      Therefore, the non-European countries of Australia, Chinese Taipei, India and the United States get their first quota, while Great Britain add their first male quota to the two spots the women have earned at European Championships. France get their second (and first female) non-host quota, while Spain and Slovakia get a spot each after missing out at European Championships.
      The Championships continue with the Skeet competition from 7-9 October. The next chance to see Trap shooters will be at the 2022 CAT Championship for North and South Americans in Lima, Peru, the 2023 European Championship in Leobersdorf, Austria, the 2023 Asia Championship in Changwon, South Korea, or the 2023 World Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan, depending on continent.
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

      573 • 0

    • Mkbw50

      Reigning world and Olympic women's basketball champions Team USA showed no sign of slowing down in the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, having no problem in making the group stage. The winner of the World Cup will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. In the group stages, with six teams per group, a win would yield two points with a loss leading to one; the top four teams would qualify for the quarterfinals.
      In Group A, the US were joined by Belgium, China, South Korea, Puerto Rico, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The first match took place between the Bosnians and Puerto Rico at the State Sports Centre, with Arella Guirantes impressing with twenty-six points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Puerto Ricans never let go of an early lead to win 82-58. The Americans would open against Belgium and while the Cats held their own, the world champions never looked like losing as Breanna Stewart and Alyssa Thomas starred in an 87-72 victory at the Sydney SuperDome, the first of a double-header before South Korea faced China. The Chinese were out to put out a statement and did so with a 107-44 victory, with Han Xu earning plaudits for her fifteen rebounds and thirteen points. On Day 2, another double header took place, this time at the State Sports Centre, leading with a clash between Puerto Rico and the United States. Shakira Austin hit double figures in both points and rebounds as the Americans won 106-42. Meanwhile, Belgium bounced back with an 84-61 win over South Korea, before attention moved to the SuperDome where China faced Bosnia and Herzegovina, and put out another big performance winning 98-51, Han once again showing great form. But the Chinese would be brought back to earth on day three in the first game of a triple header at the SuperDome, as they lost 77-63 to the US despite an impressive third quarter showing in which they cut the American lead by ten. The introduction of A'ja Wilson proved effective as the Las Vegas Aces power forward netted twenty points. South Korea got their first win of the tournament as they beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 99-66, with Kang Lee-seul netting a huge thirty-seven points. Finally, a back-and-forth game between Puerto Rico and Belgium was edged 68-65 to the Belgians, as an inspired Kyara Linskens performance took them over the line despite more magic from Guirantes.
      After a rest day, again all three matches on day four were hosted at the SuperDome, with Belgium starting things off with a professional 85-55 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in a game that they controlled throughout the match. The United States set a new record for points scored as they smashed South Korea 145-69, with Wilson and Brionna Jones both being particularly impressive. China got back on track with a 95-60 win over Puerto Rico. This meant that with one day to go, the US, China, and Belgium were through, with a crunch match between Puerto Rico and South Korea ahead of the eliminated Bosnia and Herzegovina. This match would take place at the SuperDome, and Puerto Rico were inspired to a 92-73 victory by Mya Hollingshed's twenty-nine points. At the State Sports Centre, China made light work of Belgium with an 81-55 win; China have been a real handful the whole tournament. Back at the SuperDome, and in the final game of the group the US beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 121-59 in a dead rubber. This meant that the US topped the group with ten points, ahead of China (nine), Belgium (eight), and Puerto Rico (seven), while South Korea (six) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (five) missed out on qualification.
      In Group B, hosts Australia were joined by Canada, France, Japan, Serbia, and Mali. The opening game was held at the State Sports Centre as Canada ground out a tough win over Serbia 67-60, with a late fightback from the Serbs not enough. At the SuperDome, Japan made light work of Mali with an 89-56 win, before Gabby Williams netted twenty-three points in France's impressive 70-57 win over Australia. On the second day, with all matches at the SuperDome, Japan couldn't recover from a fifteen-point deficit in the first quarter as they lost 69-64 to Serbia, while Canada seemed to find their rhythm in a 59-45 victory over France. Australia were back on track with an 118-58 win over Mali.
      After a rest day, action returned with all matches on day three at the SuperDome. Mali restored some pride but ultimately fell 74-59 to France despite Sika Koné netting eighteen points. Australia's resurgence continued with a 69-54 victory over Serbia, before Bridget Carleton inspired Canada to a 70-56 win over Japan with nineteen points. On the fourth day, the first two games were at the Sports Centre; Saša Čađo netted twenty points to take Serbia over the line against Mali, 81-68, in a match that was overshadowed when, during Čađo's interview, Mali players were seen fighting amongst themselves just a few metres away. Williams was on song again when France beat Japan 67-53 in a big win for qualification in the later match at the Sports Centre, while in the game of the tournament so far Australia squeaked past Canada 75-72 at the SuperDome. Canada lead through the first quarter 23-14, before Australia reversed them to lead 36-33 at the midway point. But the Canadians were 57-46 ahead at the third quarter and looked to be heading to victory, until the Opals came out all guns blazing in the fourth quarter and while Canada tried for one last fightback, it was too little, too late. On the final day, the final match at the Sports Centre would take place as Canada responded with an 88-65 win over Mali, with Carleton netting twenty-seven points. Serbia's strong start took them over the line, 68-62 at the same venue against France, while Australia continued the momentum with a 71-54 win over Japan at the SuperDome. This means that Australia won the group with nine points, ahead of Canada on head-to-head, while Serbia were third on eight points, also ahead of France on head-to-head. Japan (six points) and Mali (five points) were eliminated.
      A draw was held for the quarter finals, with first and second in each group guaranteed to play third and fourth from the other. On the top half of the draw, Belgium face Australia while China take on France, while on the bottom side, Puerto Rico face Canada and the United States take on Serbia. This is a fascinating draw for many reasons: Belgium are highly rated but have not shown their best form while Australia seem to be hitting their side, China seem a very dangerous team and have avoided the US until the final and a potential semifinal against Australia appears mouthwatering, but France cannot be counted out. On the other side, Canada vs the US is a big favourite for the semifinal, and that is a clash that has an edge to it in any sport, and could we see a China-US rematch in the final? Time will tell, with the quarterfinals on 29 September, the semifinals on 30 September, and the final and third place match on 1 October, all games are at the Sydney SuperDome.
      Patrick Green
      Writer, Totallympics News

      560 • 0

    • Totallympics

      Morocco, the host national team of the 2022 IBSA Blind Football African Championship, won the continental title with a 2-0 victory against Mali in the final. The home team never lost a game on the way to the gold match.
      Earlier, in the bronze medal match, Egypt got the best of Ivory Coast with a 2-0 victory.
      Check the results and standings in the group stage:
      Day 1 – Saturday (17/9)
      Ivory Coast vs Nigeria (0-1)
      Egypt vs Morocco (0-4)
      Day 2 – Sunday (18/9)
      Ivory Coast vs Egypt (1-0)
      Morocco vs Mali (3-0)
      Day 3 – Monday (19/9)
      Mali vs Ivory Coast (2-0)
      Egypt vs Nigeria (1-0)
      Day 4 – Wednesday (21/9)
      Egypt vs Mali (0-2)
      Nigeria vs Morocco (0-4)
      Day 5 – Thursday (22/9)
      Mali vs Nigeria (3-0)
      Morocco vs Ivory Coast (4-0)
      1.º Morocco 4G-4W-15-0 12P
      2.º Mali 4G-3W-1L-7-3 9P
      3.º Ivory Coast 4G-1W-3L-1-7 3P
      4.º Egypt 4G-1W-3L-1-7 3P
      5.º Nigeria 4G-1W-3L-1-8 3P
      Day 6 FINALS – Friday (23/9)
      Bonze medal match: Ivory Coast vs Egypt (0-2)
      Final match: Morocco vs Mali (2-0)
      Final standings
      1.º Morocco 
      2.º Mali 
      3.º Egypt
      4.º Ivory Coast
      5.º Nigeria
      Best scorers
      1.º Zouhair Snisla (Morocco): 5 goals 
      2.º Mamadouf Kone (Mali): 5 goals 
      3.º Hattab Abderrazak (Morocco): 4 goals
      Morocco has therefore won the African Olympic Quota for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. It has also secured its place for the next World Cup, which is set to take place from August 18 to 27, 2023 in Birmingham, the UK.
      The Blind Football Qualification Tracker to Paris 2024 Paralympic Games can be found here.
      ibsasport News

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