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The opening press conference for the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Championships was held on Thursday in Astana’s famous Barys Arena. AIBA Executive Director Karim Bouzidi welcomed the world’s media and praised the organisation of the ninth edition of the prestigious competition.

“The Kazakhstan Boxing Federation has always been an important partner for AIBA and I would like to thank them and the Local Organising Committee for their amazing work in organising this Women’s World Championships. This is a land of boxing and another important milestone for the championships,” said Mr Bouzidi. “We have 285 boxers taking part and are fortunate to have some fantastic ambassadors for the tournament that include Olympic gold medallists and brilliant officials.”

The tournament begins on Thursday afternoon, and with twelve Olympic quota places available for the semi-finalists of the flyweight, lightweight and middleweight categories, the competition will be intense from the outset.

Mr Bektenov thanked the International Boxing Association for awarding the KBF the right to host the ninth Women’s World Championships. “Having hosted the AIBA Men’s World Championships in 2013 and the Youth World Championships earlier this year, we are confident that this tournament will be of the highest level. Having the award-winning Barys Arena as the venue will only enhance the occasion.”