Dumb it down
What exactly does Katie Taylor have to do to qualify for the Olympics?
As Katie Taylor eases her way through the field at the World Championships in China, a place at the Olympics looms ever closer. But she’s not quite there yet.
Katie Taylor at the Olympics? I thought that was pretty much a given…
Well, we are talking about a girl who’s attempting to win her fourth World Championship title on the trot, so the prospect of Katie representing Ireland in London later this summer does seem an extremely likely one. But she hasn’t quite made it, so we shouldn’t tempt fate George Hamilton style just yet.
So how far is she away from sealing the deal?
Not far at all. After forcing a stoppage in her fight (she was already 20-8 ahead going into the final round) against Kazakhstan’s Saida Khassenova earlier today, Katie progressed to the quarter-finals. In Taylor’s lightweight division, there are three Olympic spots guaranteed for European fighters and, including Taylor, six fighters from the continent have qualified for the last eight in Qinhuangdao.
So all she has to do is beat her opponent in the quarters and she’s on her way to London, right?
Not quite. Although a victory over Mihaela Lacatus tomorrow would all but ensure her Olympic qualification, it won’t guarantee it. That’s because there is a possibility that all four semi-finalists could feasibly be European, which means there will be an odd woman out.
There will definitely be two Europeans in the semi-finals as Taylor’s meeting with Lacatus and another quarter-final between Ingrid Egner of Norway and Natasha Jones of England are all-European affairs.
In the other two quarter-finals, should Estelle Mossely of France and/or Sofya Ochigava of Russia fail to progress, then as long as Taylor wins her fight, she’s through.
You have me on the ropes in that I’m just about keeping in touch with all these permutations, so what happens if all four semi-finalists are European?
Well, should Katie get past the quarters, her Olympic berth will be absolutely nailed on if she wins her subsequent semi-final. Even if she doesn’t, however, there might still be a possibility that she could be bobbing and weaving her way around the ring in London in the summer.
There is one extra European place available through the International Olympic Committee's Tripartite Commission, so technically, all four European fighters could qualify, but it’s not yet known whether or not the wildcard will be used in this case.
Is all of this irrelevant anyway because Katie is just going to win the World Championships and remove any trace of doubt?
Well, we sure hope so and history would suggest as much. As mentioned above, Katie is gunning for her fourth World title on the trot, she’s got another stack of European amateur titles to her name and is nigh on unbeatable when she steps into the ring.
It’s not so much qualification we should be talking about, but whether or not Katie will win gold in London this summer.
Still, hype isn’t an emotion that sits comfortably in Ireland and tends to drive us into an uncontrollable frenzy of expectation, so let’s take the pressure off and just allow Katie to get the job done her own way.
It’s certainly worked for her so far.