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19 June 2024

Preview Olympic Games Paris: Team Austria continues to grow, latest athlete to be accepted is taekwondo practitioner Marlene Jahl


When the Olympic Games take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, Austria (population 9.1 million) will be represented by more than 70 athletes. As Fashion.at was told on the phone today, Team Austria currently consists of 71 athletes, a number that is expected to grow soon. Athletes in disciplines such as climbing, BMX, skateboarding will compete at the Olympic Qualifier Series in Budapest, Hungary, from June 20 to 23. In tennis, Austrian player Dominic Thiem could receive a wildcard, and it is expected that more athletes from athletics will join the team due to their rankings. The team list for Paris will be updated continuously at https://www.olympia.at.

The latest athlete to be granted an Olympic starting place by the World Taekwondo Federation is Marlene Jahl in the +67 kilogram category. The 29-year-old from Upper Austria, who will be making her Olympic debut in Paris, has fought long and hard for this dream, especially after a broken metatarsal at the European Championships. Marlene Jahl received a quota spot after Russia's Polina Khan was disqualified for competing under a neutral flag. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has established a commission of inquiry to evaluate the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes due to the war in Ukraine. This commission, which represents the IOC's commitment to peace, excludes Russian and Belarusian athletes based on criteria such as membership in military sports clubs. On June 15, the updated list of 'Individual neutral athletes' was published at https://olympics.com/ioc/paris-2024-individual-neutral-athletes. Earlier, in March 2024, Marlene Jahl - a member of the Austrian army - lost to Polina Khan in the semifinals of the Olympic qualifiers in Sofia, but won the third-place match against Israel's Dana Azran. Initially, the Olympic spots went to Petra Stolbova (of the Czech Republic) and Khan, with Jahl as the first substitute.

In the statement released yesterday, Marlene Jahl reflects on the decision, acknowledging the unfortunate situation for Khan, but emphasizing the importance of following the rules. Jahl said (translated from German) "From a sporting point of view, of course I feel sorry for the athlete. On the taekwondo mat, we are all equal, no matter what nation we belong to. But the rules of the game have to be followed."

Image: The picture shows taekwondo athlete Marlene Jahl fighting on a mat during a competition. Jahl will make her Olympic debut at the Olympic Games in Paris which will take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024. Photo: © ÷OC/Michael Meindl.



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