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The third continental qualification tournament for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, AIBA Asian-Oceanian Olympic Qualification event started on March 25 with a remarkable opening ceremony in the city of Qianan, China, before the 1st punches of the competition were thrown.

For the first time in the history of the competition, the Oceanian boxers join their Asian counterparts to reach a record number of 226 boxers for the event that comes with just five months to go until the start of the Games. 46 women and 180 men from 35 nations and 2 continents have registered and are in hot pursuit of the 30 men’s and 6 women’s places at Rio 2016 on offer.

In the opening bout, PRK Korea’s Asian Confederation Women’s Boxing Championships silver medallist Tong Sun Ri defeated Indonesia’s Christina Marwan Jembay in the Women’s Lightweight class (57-60 kg) with a unanimous decision.

Mongolia’s Suvd Erdene Oyungurel needed all her international experience to dominate Nepal’s unique representative, Saraswati Rana, and advance to the second preliminary round of the Women’s Lightweight categorie (57-60 kg).

In the 1st men bout of the tournament, ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships bronze medallist Tosho Kashiwasaki started slowly against PRK Korea’s Umakhanov Memorial Tournament winner Un Song Kim but the 25-year-old Japanese boxer finished strongly and advances to the next round where he will meet Filipino AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Rogen Ladon, the n°1 seed in the Light Flyweight category (46-49 kg).

“I was very nervous as this was my first international contest this year. I am not satisfied with my performance, I wanted to use my feet more against my opponent. I landed a lot of punches in the second and third rounds which made a real difference today. I know my next Filipino rival is fast so my footwork is critical if I want to continue in this competition,” said Japan’s Tosho Kashiwasaki after his contest.

Incheon 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Turat Osmonov from Kyrgyzstan eliminated Australia Joshua English but he will have to stay in top form for his next bout against the favourite of the 46-49 kg category, the Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov.

The Women’s Middleweight (75 kg), Men’s Flyweight (52 kg), Men’s Lightweight (60 kg), Men’s Light Welterweight (64 kg), Men’s Middleweight (75 kg) and Men’s Light Heavyweight (81 kg) will be in action for the second day of the AIBA Asian-Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event with 23 bouts scheduled.

Check out the results here.