Feb. 9, 2024


2 min read

Tau looking to qualify in Dakar

Tau looking to qualify in Dakar

Taekwondo sensation, Michelle Tau

Story highlights

    The Star to compete in -49kg division, which she is not used to
    Local taekwondo pundits worry about Tau’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics

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LESOTHO’s Olympic Games hopeful, Michelle Tau, is hoping to qualify for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games at the African Qualification Tournament in Dakar, Senegal.

The Dakar taekwondo qualification tournament gets underway this Saturday until Sunday.

The Lesotho National Olympic Committee's (LNOC) Public Relations Officer, Fetang Selialia, confirmed that Tau would be among the African athletes vying for the Paris Olympic Games slot in Dakar this weekend.

Tau is desperate to qualify for what would be her Olympic Games debut with the Paris 2024 Games, which have been scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.

 “Yes, Tau is going to fight in Dakar for the Paris Olympic Games qualification,” confirmed Selialia in an interview with Public Eye yesterday.

However, according to some local taekwondo experts who talked to this paper before and lately, Tau’s chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games are extremely slim.

The experts based their analysis on the fact that Tau preferred -46kg over -49kg during her preparation for games, despite the latter being the perfect weight category for her towards booking a slot at the Paris Games.

This is also since 46 kg is not the Olympic Games weight category for taekwondo, with the experts saying Tau therefore wasted her time and energy competing in 46 kg in preparation for the Paris Games.

On the other hand, Selialia said LNOC’s main task is to ensure that the athletes qualify for the games.

“Our main task as LNOC is to make sure that our athletes qualify, hence, we have secured Olympic Solidary Scholarships for some of the local athletes, and Michelle Tau is one of them.

“She competed in -46kg in most of her recent outings and was doing well, but we have been informed (by local taekwondo experts) that it would be good for her if it were in -49kg.”

Tau looking to qualify in Dakar

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Selialia further said: “But our wish and hope is for her to qualify, even though taekwondo community worries her poor chances. Again, we hope if she does not qualify, she will get a wild card.”

A wild card is a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that fails to qualify in the normal way, for example, by having a high ranking or winning a qualifying stage.

In some events, wild cards are chosen freely by the organisers, while other events have fixed rules about wild cards.

Tebello Ramakongoana is so far the only Lesotho athlete who has already qualified for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

The marathoner booked a place at the Olympics during the World Athletics Championships, which were held in Budapest, Hungary, in August last year.


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