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TAEKWONDO: U.S. Olympic Trials Fight-Off Begins Tomorrow in Colorado Springs

Jan. 24, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Fight-Off for Taekwondo will be held January 25-26 at the Olympic Training Center's Sports Center II in Colorado Springs. Athletes who did not place first in the female Olympic flyweight (under 107.9 lbs), female Olympic featherweight (107.9-125.4 lbs) and male Olympic featherweight (127.7 -149.6 lbs.) divisions at the U.S. Olympic Trials held in August of 2007 were eligible for the Fight-Off. The U.S. qualified those three divisions for the 2008 Olympic Games at the Pan American Olympic Qualification Tournament in Cali, Colombia, in December when female Olympic flyweight Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.), female Olympic featherweight Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) and male Olympic featherweight Mark Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) all placed in the top three.

The winners of this weekend's double-elimination Fight-Off will face the top-seeded Charlotte Craig, Diana Lopez and Mark Lopez at the final phase of the Olympic Trials in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 5. The top seeds will need only one win to make the Olympic Team while the challengers will have to defeat the top seed twice to earn the spot. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) has already earned a spot on the 2008 Olympic Team by virtue of a top-three finish in the male Olympic welterweight division at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Manchester, England, last September.

Tickets for this weekend's event are $12/day for those 18 and over. Those under 18 are admitted free of charge. Also, all USOC and NGB employees are admitted free with proper identification. Athletes competing at the Fight-Off are listed below with their respective seeding and brackets. The female Olympic featherweight competition runs from 12-2:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25, and the female Olympic flyweight and male Olympic featherweight athletes will compete from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26.

1*. Alexis Martinez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
1*. Mara Perscheid (Alexandria, Va.)
3. Anees Hasnain (McKinney, Texas)
4. Danielle Pelham (Bothell, Wash.)

1. Nia Abdallah (Houston, Texas)
2. Danielle Holmquist (Coral Springs, Fla.)
3. Sanaz Shahbazi (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
4*. Stephanie Beckel (Miami, Fla.)
4*. Christina Johnson (Rockville, Md.)
6. Jessica Pryor (Sacramento, Calif.)
7. Jade Lopez (Union City, Calif.)

1. James Moontasri (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
2. David Bartlett (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
3. Brian Gallagher (Littleton, Colo.)
4. Chris Martinez (Sugar Land, Texas)
5*. Nicolas Delgado (Arvada, Colo.)
5*. Nir Moriah (Houston, Texas)
5*. James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.)
5*. Richard Lee (Granada Hills, Calif.)
9*. Stepfon Westbrook (Pacoima, Calif.)
9*. Christian Valencia (Renton, Wash.)
11. Jesus Armendariz (La Porte, Texas)

*=Tie seed. Random draw will be done at the Technical Meeting the night before each competition to determine final seeding.