The list of competitors has been announced for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Fight-Off for Taekwondo to be held January 25-26 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Athletes who did not place first in the female fin/fly, female bantam/feather and male bantam/feather 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 fin/flyweight Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.), female bantam/featherweight Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) and male bantam/featherweight Mark Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) all placed in the top three.
The winners of the 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 light/welter divison at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Manchester, England, last September.
Athletes competing at the Fight-Off are listed below with their respective seeding and brackets. The female bantam/feather competition will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, and the female fin/fly and male female bantam/feather athletes will compete on Saturday, Jan. 26.
1. Alexis Martinez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)
2. 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. Stephanie Beckel (Miami, Fla.)
4. Christina Johnson (Rockville, Md.)
5. Jessica Pryor (Sacramento, Calif.)
6. 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.)
6. Nir Moriah (Houston, Texas)
7. James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.)
8. Richard Lee (Granada Hills, Calif.)
9. Stepfon Westbrook (Pacoima, Calif.)
10. Christian Valencia (Renton, Wash.)
11. Jesus Armendariz (La Porte, Texas)