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Rio 2016: The Race Begins

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Today begins the battle for places at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with badminton players worldwide plunging into the Olympic Qualification Period which ends 1 May, 2016.

The year-long quest to be among the elite competing at the first-ever Olympics on the South American continent will see athletes trying to earn enough points from BWF-sanctioned international tournaments, including BWF Major Events, the MetLife BWF World Superseries, Grand Prix Gold, International and Future events as well as Continental Championships.

The world ranking list of 5 May 2016 will determine who makes the cut and who misses out.

A few changes distinguish the 2016 Olympics competition from previous editions. A maximum of two players per NOC (National Olympic Committee) is allowed in each event, which means the total quota for each NOC will be 16 (8 men and 8 women) compared to 18 at London Olympics 2012 (below: Wembley Arena). The hosts quota is restricted to one player in either singles categories; each group in singles will contain a minimum of three players, and the group stages of the competition will be followed by a draw for the knockout stage. An NOC can field two players/pairs if both are ranked in the top 16 in singles and in the top 8 in doubles.

The total quota for badminton (including Host Country places and Tripartite Commission Invitation places) is 172. Of this, 164 (82 each for men and women) are qualification places; two are Host Country places and six (three each for men and women) are Tripartite Commission Invitation places. All athletes must have played in a minimum of three tournaments in their respective event, counting towards the world rankings lists, during the Olympic qualifying period. The Tripartite Commission awards a select number of places to help promote the fundamental Olympic principle of universal representation. These are given to NOCs with few or no qualified athletes, to participate in the Olympic Games. These places provide the NOCs, whenever possible, with the opportunity to be represented at the Olympic Games by the best athlete from their country.

The list of initially qualified athletes for each event (including Continental Representation places, Host Country places and Tripartite Commission Invitation places) will be published as part of the world ranking lists of 5 May 2016. The lists will be used to allocate 34 individual quota places for men and 34 individual quota places for women to the highest ranked athletes, respecting the maximum quota allocation per NOC per event. The 34 quota places will include the Continental Representation places.

In each singles event, there will be at least one athlete from each of the five BWF continental confederations. If a continental confederation has no singles athlete qualified in an event, the highest ranked athlete in that continent will become eligible (a host country place is separate from the Continental Representation place). No NOC can qualify athletes/pairs in more than two events through the Continental Representation place system. If an athlete qualifies (and is selected) in more than one event, the resulting unused quota place will be allotted to the next best ranked eligible athlete of the same gender in the singles event of the world ranking list of 5 May 2016.

The number of quota places in the three doubles events is 48 (16 pairs each in Mens Doubles, Womens Doubles and Mixed Doubles), including the Continental Representation places. No NOC can qualify athletes/pairs in more than two events through the Continental Representation Place system. Each doubles event is required to have at least one pair from each of the five BWF continental confederations.

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