The opening ceremony of the 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships took place in Doha on Monday evening, kicking off in style what is set to be ten days of first-class action inside the ring.
Boxers flying the flags of the 69 competing countries paraded around the two gleaming rings of the Ali Bin Hamad Arena. Local fans raised the roof for the arrival of the Qatar flag, with the second-biggest cheer coming for the well-supported Cuban team.
Promising an exceptional competition, IOC President Thomas Bach spoke for the athletes’ determination to pursue not just championship gold, but the 23 qualification places for Rio 2016 Olympic Games that are up for grabs in Doha.
AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu praised the organisation of the competition before Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz swore the boxer’s oath on behalf of the 243 athletes taking part. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, declared the championships open before a thrilling graphic history of boxing was unveiled with some majestically choreographed shadow boxing under the arena’s spotlights.
The 2015 AIBA World Championships are officially underway, get your ringside seat from 6-15 October on the official YouTube channel: