The APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event finished today in Vargas, Venezuela, where ten finals and eight Box-off contests were held in two sessions. The competition was the last chance for the boxers to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

16 countries achieved at least one Olympic spot in Vargas:

  • Venezuela: 4 Olympic quota places
  • Ecuador, Mexico: 3 Olympic quota places
  • Colombia, Germany, Ukraine: 2 Olympic quota places
  • Argentina, Armenia, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Italy, Kenya, Qatar, Spain, Thailand, Turkey: 1 Olympic quota place

In the opening bout of the morning session Colombia’s Panamerican Games bronze medallist Ceiber David Avila and Ukraine’s Maksym Fatych met in the important Box-off of the flyweight (52kg). Both boxers started with similar styles but Avila imposed a different rhythm today which ended up being a winning tactic. The Colombian boxer won all of the rounds and qualified for his first Olympic Games.

Venezuela’s AMBC American Confederation Champion Yoel Finol began the bout with clear right-handed jabs against Germany’s Hamza Touba who tried to work from a longer distance in the final of the flyweight (52 kg). The 19-year-old Venezuelan WSB boxer delighted the crowd with his strong combinations and was more mobile on his feet than his German rival. Finally, he was awarded the first gold medal of the tournament.

In the lightweight (60kg) box-off, Italy’s pro boxer Carmine Tommasone tried to avoid Turkey’s Yasin Yilmaz strong punches in the first round and his counter-attacks worked well. The Turkish boxer found his rhythm in the second round and stepped on the accelerator but the Italian veteran’s effective tactic in the final minutes allowed him to take the Olympic spot.

“I am so happy after this amazing success in the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event winning the Box-off here in Venezuela. It was great that my opponent was not doing closed boxing which was perfect for me. My tactic was to stay focused and avoid his traps I think I managed to find the right tactic to so I am more than happy that I’m going to Rio,” said Italy’s Carmine Tommasone.

Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado was matched against Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng. The Mexican lightweight (60kg) boxer controlled their bout, chased the victory and his impactful punches gave him a TKO success.

Spain’s APB athete Youba Ndiaye Sissokho eliminated the main favourite of the welterweight (69kg) Ukraine’s Serhii Bohachuk in the quarter-final of the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event in Vargas. His Indian opponent Neeraj Goyat could not stop his fiercy attacks in the bout and Youba Ndiaye Sissokho qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The gold medal of the welterweight (69kg) went to Mexico’s Juan Pablo Romero who walked over to the title against Germany’s Arajik Marutjan.

Colombia’s Juan Carlos Carrillo met for the gold medal of the light heavyweight (81kg) with Cameroon’s Athens 2004 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Hassan Ndam Njikam. The Colombian boxer knocked out two of his rivals in the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event and he was highly motivated to get the gold medal against his strong African rival. Ukraine’s Denys Solonenko walked over to the Olympic quota in the Box-off of the category.

Venezuela’s veteran super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer Edgar Ramon Munoz had to do his very best to beat Ukraine’s Rostyslav Arkhypenko who delivered one of the main sensation of the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event when he defeated Russia’s Magomed Omarov in the quarter-finals. The Venezuelan boxer moved ahead from the first seconds and his stamina helped him delivered an Olympic spot for August’s event.

Spain’s Youba Ndiaye Sissokho was against the Indian opponent Neeraj Goyat who could not counter the incessant attacks resulting in a well-deserved qualification for Youba Ndiaye Sissokho. The gold medal of the welterweight (69kg) went to Mexico’s Juan Pablo Romero who walked over to the title against Germany’s Arajik Marutjan,

South Korea’s AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Jonghun Shin was the favourite of the Box-off of the light flyweight (49kg) against Argentina’s APB boxer Leandro Blanc in the opening bout of the afternoon session. The South American boxer was highly motivated and his tactic was well-built against his South Korean rival in the Box-off of the lowest weight class. The final verdict was unanimous decision to the 23-year-old Argentinean boxer who qualified for his first Olympic Games.

Mexico’s two-time Panamerican Games winner Joselito Velazquez despite a long absence for a hand injury, has been able to recover and earned his qualification for Rio on top of his gold medal.

Venezuela’s newcomer in the national team Victor Rodriguez the 21-year-old bantamweight (56kg) boxer delivered his best performance ever against Turkey’s Ibrahim Gokcek in the Box-off. The Turkish boxer did an amazing comeback in the third round but his efforts were not sufficient enough to modify the outcome of the bout and Rodriguez qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The gold medal of this category went to Kenya’s APB boxer Benson Gicharu Njangiru who walked over to the title over Dominican Republic’s Hector Luis Garcia.

Qatar’s APB boxer Thulasi Tharumalingam had an amazing performance in the semi-final of the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event in Vargas but it wasn’t enough against Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov in the final of the light welterweight (64kg). The Armenian boxer had more experience at international level than his Qatari opponent and dominated completely the final contest and took the gold medal. The third Olympic quota of the category was completed by Ukraine’s veteran APB boxer Volodymyr Matviichuk.

Germany’s Xhek Paskali made a few mistakes in the opening round against Turkey’s Onder Sipal and found his best rhythm only in the final minutes. Sipal found the weak points of the German boxer and qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Ecuador’s Marlo Delgado will participate in his second Olympic Games following his success in the semi-final.  In the final of the middleweight (75kg) the Ecuadorian boxer gave strict jabs against Venezuela’s Endry Saavedra and took the lead in the first round. Ecuador’s pride won all of the rounds and was crowned in Vargas.

At the heavyweight (91kg) Ecuador’s Julio Cesar Castillo and Croatia’s Marko Calic delivered one of the best contest of the last day of the competition. Castillo tried to avoid Croatian boxer’s longer reach and worked from closer distance with his quick hooks and uppercuts. Castillo, former participant to the London 2012 Olympic Games, was able to repeat that performance and can box also in his second Games in Rio following his unanimous triumph over the tall Croatian hope.

List of the winners in the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event

 49 kg: Joselito Velazquez, Mexico

 52kg: Yoel Finol, Venezuela

 56 kg: Benson Gicharu Njangiru, Kenya

 60kg: Lindolfo Delgado, Mexico

 64 kg: Hovhannes Bachkov, Armenia

 69kg: Juan Pablo Romero, Mexico

 75 kg: Marlo Delgado, Ecuador

 81kg: Juan Carlos Carrillo, Colombia

 91 kg: Julio Cesar Castillo, Ecuador

 +91kg: Edgar Ramon Munoz, Venezuela