The International Boxing Association, AIBA, has expressed reservations over recent announcement by the International Olympic Committee, IOC, Boxing Task Force,BTF, cancelling the World Olympic qualifying event which was scheduled for Paris, France in June.
Boxers from across the globe including 11 members of the Kenya ‘Hit-Squad’ were set to feature at the championship, a last fighting chance for an Olympic slot.
The Tokyo Olympic games is scheduled for Japan July 23rd– August 8th 2021.
This week IOC Boxing task force announced the cancellation of the event and the 53 quota slots available be assigned on rankings.
In a statement on Saturday International Amateur Boxing federation ,AIBA stated their desire to see the reversal of the decision.
‘’We respect the decision of colleagues from the IOC Taskforce it is important for us to find boxing in the Olympic program and fulfill the Olympic dream of our athletes. However, we believe that it was possible to retain the Qualifier’’, the statement reads.
AIBA proposed concerted efforts, saying it was possible to put up a risk proof event if all stakeholders were involved.
‘’We welcome the health care of our athletes, coaches and officials, this is also our priority in this pandemic situation. In this challenging time, AIBA strives to host as many tournaments as possible in compliance with all safety measures. Our experience and the experience of our National Federations suggest that it is possible to successfully conduct official competitions during the pandemic, and we would be ready to share this experience’’,AIBA statement reads.
AIBA faulted the ranking system, as an alternative method of selecting boxers .
‘’The ranking system, compiled on the basis of key tournaments of past years, does not take into account youth competitions, so young boxers born in 2001-02 will be deprived of the chance to compete at the Games and fulfill their dream’’, the statement reads.
The cancellation of the world qualifying event threw preparations of Kenya boxing team into a spin. Kenya had hoped to send at least 10 boxers to the championship in efforts to shore up its representation at the Tokyo Olympic games.
At the African qualifiers in February 2020 in Senegal, Kenya qualified two boxers to the Tokyo games Nick Okoth and Elizabeth Ongare.
If the quota ranking system decision ,propose by IOC,BTF, stands, Kenya Boxing Federation communications director Duncan Kuria told KBC Sports that Kenya could qualify two more boxers Elly Ajowi and Elizabeth Akinyi.