The best boxers from Asia and Oceania are making final preparations for the AIBA Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event in Qian’an, China, from 25 March to 2 April. The ultimate goal for each of the 279 boxers registered is securing one of the 30 men’s and 6 women’s quota places for Rio 2016, and the chance to represent their country in August on the world’s greatest sporting stage.
” Having nearly 300 boxers participating to the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification event is a remarkable proof of the vitality of our sport in these 2 continents. The Local Organizing Committee and the City of Qian’an have done a tremendous work and I look forward to witnessing our boxers competing to fulfil their dreams and qualify for Rio 2016 in a state of the art venue.” declared AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
Among the big names taking part in the women’s competition will be India’s five-time AIBA World Champion Mary Kom, China’s three-time World Champion Ren Cancan and Kazakhstan World Champion Nazym Kyzaybay, firmly underlining the strength of the field.
Uzbekistan boxing has gone from strength to strength in recent months and the men’s team will be looking to secure all six possible quota spaces for Rio with WSB star Hasanboy Dusmatov, AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Bakhodir Jalolov and 2014 Asian Games silver medallist Shakhobiddin Zoirov the strong favourites to book their Olympic places.
Kazakhstan will also be expecting great things from their side which includes rising star and Youth World Champion Abylaykhan Zhussupov, AIBA World Championship runner-up Ivan Dychko, 2013 AIBA World Champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly and London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist Adilbek Niyazymbetov.
The Mongolian boxers looked impressive at the recent Chemistry Cup in Germany, taking three golds at the lighter weight classes, while New Zealand will be sending a twelve-strong team to Qian’an, including the Nyika brothers who both won at the Trans Tasman Tournament last month.
“The joint Qualification Event with Oceania is the first time in AIBA history and it would be a great experience for our athletes before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Asia had 62 qualified athletes in London four years ago and we are hoping to improve this number in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games demonstrating the continuous development of our continent.” said ASBC President and AIBA Vice-President Mr. Serik Konakbayev
Hosts China will be looking to flyweight Hu Jianguan for inspiration, although Thailand’s Chatchai Butdee will also be pushing hard for a place. Butdee’s female teammates Peamwilai Laopeam and Tassamalee Thongjan also have great chances of qualification.
Australia’s excellent women’s team includes Commonwealth Games winner Shelley Watts and 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Caitlin Parker, while for the men, Daniel Lewis and Joseph Goodall also have the potential to qualify.
“This Olympic Qualification tournament will be a testing event for all boxers as every boxer in the tournament is a National Champion and some could very well be among the best in the world. I wish good luck to all Oceanian boxers and remind them, in all their endeavours, to always be true to yourself by doing as best as you can because then, in the future, you will have no regrets as to what might have been.” added Ted Tanner, President of the Oceania Boxing Confederation.