40 countries will be represented in the golf event of this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, following the completion of the two-year qualification process for golf’s return to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years.
60 men and 60 women will compete for medals at the Reserva de Marapendi Golf Course, beginning with the men from August 11-14 followed by the women from August 17-20. Malaysia will be represented by Danny Chia and Gavin Green in the men’s event, while Kelly Tan and Michelle Koh will carry the nation’s flag in the women’s competition.
Every continent is represented in the rankings, affording golf a unique opportunity to grow the game in unexposed territories and to achieve greater visibility. Across the two individual competitions, Africa has eight eligible players; Asia 29; Australasia & Oceania eight; Europe 52; North America 11; South America 12.
The golf competition will have a potential global audience of around 3.6 billion, representing the ultimate shop-window for the sport and having the capacity to reach a brand new audience, especially among the younger generation across all the continents. Already, the ‘Olympic effect’ can be witnessed by the increase in the number of national federations under the umbrella of the International Golf Federation (IGF), which has grown from just over 100 to an all-time high of 147.
“After eight years of intense planning and preparation for golf’s historic return to the Olympic Games, the IGF is extremely excited finally to have reached this important milestone of identifying those players who are eligible to compete in Rio de Janeiro,” said IGF president Peter Dawson.
“We are particularly gratified to see how many countries are represented among the men and women and anticipate compelling competitions for both on the outstanding golf course that Gil Hanse and Amy Alcott have created. It has taken a tremendous amount of work by a number of people to get to this stage, and we at the IGF are extremely grateful for the role each and every one of them has played in making this possible,” he added.
Qualification began on July 14, 2014 and concluded on Sunday, July 10. The full list of qualifiers confirms the names of the 120 players who are now eligible to be entered by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in accordance with the qualification criteria.
The IGF will send confirmation of the quota places to the NOCs for them to confirm use of the allocated quota places. The IGF will then reallocate all unused quota places before the Rio 2016 Sport Entries Deadline on July 18.
A further list of 60 names for both the men’s and women’s events will then be published on Monday, July 18, which will provide ratification of all the competitors who will comprise the respective fields at the Olympic Games.
Full information on the Qualifying System for the 2016 Olympic Games can be found at www.igfgolf.org/olympic-games/qualification-system