Canadian Taekwondo National Team Athletes Ready to take on the Best in Santo Domingo at Pan American Qualification Tournament for Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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Ottawa, ON – Three of Taekwondo Canada’s top athletes are set to compete against some of the best in the continental union at the Pan American Qualification Tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on April 9th and 10th.

The Continental Qualification Tournament is an opportunity for Taekwondo Canada to earn a maximum of two male and one additional female quota spots for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games by each athlete finishing Top 2 in their respective divisions. Successful Canadian athletes will join Winnipeg’s Skylar Park who has already earned a quota spot for Canada through her World Taekwondo Olympic ranking and will be competing in her second Olympic Games.

Josipa Kafadar (Burnaby, BC), Braven Park (Winnipeg, MB) and Marc-André Bergeron (Québec City, QC) earned their opportunity to compete at the Qualification Tournament by winning their divisions at Taekwondo Canada’s Pre-Qualification Tournament held in Toronto, ON in November 2023. Upon completion of the tournament, the High Performance Director, Dr. Allan Wrigley, underwent a review and evaluation of all division winners and said of the process, “We created the Pre-Qualification Tournament and review procedure with the intent to earn as many quota spots to the Paris Games as possible. It was not an easy decision to make, as Canada is competitive in a number of divisions, but Josipa, Braven, and Marc-André have objectively demonstrated that they are all well positioned and prepared to earn a Top 2 spot at the Continental Qualifier.”

Josipa Kafadar will be returning to the Continental Qualifier in the W-49kg division after a strong performance at the Qualification Tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. With four more years of experience, Kafadar has her eyes set on qualification once again and provided some insight on her preparations, “I am very grateful for the chance to fight for Team Canada in securing an Olympic spot. From a young age, I have dreamed of making the Olympic team. It is the goal I have been working towards since watching taekwondo in the 2008 Olympics. I have been pushing myself in ways I haven’t pushed myself before, and I appreciate the people who have helped me get to where I am and where I’m going.”

Braven Park, currently ranked 28th in his World Olympic weight class, will be competing in the M-58kg division. Park is no stranger to tough competition as he regularly competes in the World Taekwondo Grand Prix series and narrowly missed the podium at the 2023 Pan American Games. He will be competing in his first Continental Qualifier and is hoping join his sister, Skylar Park, with a berth to the Olympic Games.

Coming off an impressive bronze medal performance at the 2023 Pan American Games, Marc-André Bergeron is hoping to continue his incredible decades long taekwondo career with an Olympic Qualification. Having competed at the Continental Qualifier for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games, Bergeron continues to embody dedication and perseverance. The 32-year-old is on the rise once again and is determined to earn his Olympic berth.

With the potential to send as many as four Canadian taekwondo athletes to the Paris Games, Dr. Wrigley and Taekwondo Canada are extremely proud of how each athlete and their coach have executed their own bespoke performance plans. “We have three very different athletes heading to the Qualifier, each with their own specific needs and areas to improve on. Their coaches Daniel Thornton (Josipa Kafadar), Jae Park (Braven Park), and Samuel Desjardins (Marc-André Bergeron) have worked closely with our high performance staff to ensure that each received the support and funding needed to pursue their unique and targeted preparation plans. While the results will always lead us back to evaluate what we could have done differently, it is hard to imagine being more confident in each of our athlete’s ability to earn a quota spot in Santo Domingo. The coaches and athletes have left no stone unturned in their preparations for the tournament.”

Competition for the Pan American Qualification Tournament will begin on April 9th with Kafadar, followed by Park and Bergeron on April 10th. A complete schedule of events can be found here and the livestream will be accessible through the Pan American Taekwondo Union YouTube Channel.

About Taekwondo Canada:
Taekwondo Canada is the official governing body of Taekwondo in Canada, overseeing the sport in all Provinces and Territories. Taekwondo Canada is recognized by World Taekwondo, the International Olympic Committee, PATU and Sport Canada. Taekwondo Canada will continue to be a leading nation in the sport by providing leadership and opportunities to enable its participants to achieve their goals.

Dave Harris
Executive Director
(519) 859-7410


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