The Continental Olympic Qualifications for the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro 2016 took place from April 12th to April 16th 2016.Many TIBHAR athletes were at the start. At the Asian qualifications in Hong Kong, Chen Chien-An had to struggle hard in the first round, as he was defeated on a score of 3 to 4 by the Olympic Champion Zhang Jike (China); luckily, the Taiwanese secured his ticket for Rio in the second round.
At the European qualifications in Halmstad (Sweden), the signs were clear: the top stars Boll, Samsonov and Freitas were the favourites for the coveted qualifying places. Unfortunately Vladimir Samsonov was handicapped due to a back injury and was unable to give his best performance. He had to give up in the second phase against another TIBHAR player, Emmanuel Lebesson. After this “gift” match, Lebesson met the Austrian Double Champion Stefan Fegerl, whom he beat on a non-appealing score of 4 to 0.
The biggest surprise was without a doubt the oldie Bojan Tokič: the sympathetic player of the 1st FC Saarbrucken had to struggle hard through the group phases. Here it came already in round 1 to a duel with the favourite Kristian Karlsson from Sweden, who currently occupies the 27th position in the ITTF world rankings. In a fantastic match, Tokič could beat the local favourite 4-2, standing only 2 matches away from his 3rd Olympia Qualification after 2008 and 2012. In the semi-finals (Jakub Dyjas, Poland) and the finals (Joao Geraldo, Portugal) he beat both opponents on a score of 4 to 1.
Thus Bojan Tokič can also plan his trip to the Sugar Loaf Mountain in Brazil.