Sentosa (Singapore), July 20 (IANS) Fourteen Asian Tour members and four other Asian golfers have confirmed their participation for next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
They will be among the 120 men and women who will create golfing history at the world’s greatest sporting spectacle when the sport makes its long awaited return into the Olympic Games programme after 112 years.
South Korea’s Byeonghun An and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee are among the highest ranked Asian players in 10th and 11th place respectively on the final Olympic golf rankings.
An will fly the South Korean flag along with compatriot Jeunghun Wang, who became the youngest ever player to secure back-to-back wins in European golf history with his triumphs in Morocco and Mauritius in May.
Thongchai, the only player to hold an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns, will spearhead Thailand’s charge alongside 2013 Merit champion, Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
India will be represented by Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia while current Order of Merit leader Marcus Fraser and Scott Hend, a nine-time Asian Tour winner, will bid to win medals for Australia.
Malaysia’s Danny Chia and Gavin Green will be part of the 60-man field which will also feature Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and the Chinese duo of Wu Ashun and Li Hao-tong.
Other Olympic-bound golfers include Pan Cheng-tsung and Lin Wen-tang from Chinese Taipei and Japan’s Yuta Ikeda.
Asian Tour member Adilson da Silva of Brazil will carry the local hopes at the Reserva de Marapendi golf course where the golf tournament will be staged from August 11- 20.
The announcement of the confirmed places in Rio de Janeiro comes at the end of the two-year qualification process to identify the full list of players eligible to be entered by their respective NOCs in accordance with the qualification criteria.