Four Olympic medalists are among eight athletes vying for four spots on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team for Taekwondo. The final stage of the U.S. Olympic Trials takes place on Saturday, March 10, at 4:00 p.m. at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The three Lopez siblings (Steven, Mark and Diana), who all medaled at the Olympic Games in Beijing, will look to repeat their historic feat of 2008 when they became the first trio of siblings since 1904 to qualify for a U.S. Olympic Team, and the first ever to all medal in the same Games.
Also looking to return to the Games is 2004 Olympic silver medalist Nia Abdallah (Houston, Texas). Abdallah, who gave birth to her daughter Lela following the 2004 Olympics, was runner-up to Diana Lopez at the 2008 Olympic Trials.
In Saturday’s trials, the #1 seed in each weight division will need just one victory to qualify for the Olympic Team, while the #2 seed will need to defeat the #1 seed twice in order to qualify.
Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) is the top seed in the women’s -57kg division. Lopez, 28, won a bronze medal in that weight category at the 2008 Olympic Games. She will face #2 seed Danielle Holmquist (Miami, Fla.). Holmquist, 24, is a two-time Senior National Team member and was a member of the 2007 Pan American Games team. Lopez defeated Holmquist 2-1 in their last matchup in the opening stage of the Olympic Trials back in November 2010.
In the women’s -67kg division the top seed belongs to 21-year-old Paige McPherson(Sturgis, S.D.) who will face the veteran Abdallah, 28. McPherson is a two-time Senior National Team member and won the silver medal at last year’s Pan American Games. In their last head-to-head matchup at the 2011 National Team Trials 14 months ago, McPherson twice beat Abdallah by identical 4-1 scores.
Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) owns the #1 seed in the men’s -68kg category and will face an accomplished challenger in 2008 Olympic silver medalist Mark Lopez(Sugar Land, Texas). Jennings, 25, is himself a veteran of two World University Games, two Pan American Games and the past two U.S. Senior National Teams. He earned a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Lopez, 29, is also a four-time medalist at world championships, including a gold medal in 2005 along with his siblings Steven and Diana. In their most recent head-to-head matchup, Jennings edged Lopez in sudden death overtime at the first phase of the Olympic Trials in November 2010.
Three-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) will attempt to qualify for his fourth Olympic Team as the top seed in the men’s -80kg division. Lopez, 33, won gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games and a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008. His challenger is 24-year-old TJ Curry (El Sobrante, Calif.), a 2010 national champion and member of the 2011 Pan American Games Team. In the November 2010 phase of the Olympic Trials, Lopez twice defeated Curry by scores of 2-0 and 6-5.
Tickets are $5 pre-sale and $10 at the door. Children under 13 are admitted FREE. To pre-order tickets go to https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/226899.
Tags: Road to London