With just 100 days to go until the start of competition, more than 300 of the world’s top women boxers are embarking on their final preparations for the ninth edition of the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana. Taking place from 19-27 May in Barys Arena, the tournament will also provide twelve of the athletes – four at each of the three Olympic weight classes – with quota places for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.
“The 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships are set to light up Astana, a beautiful city with vast experience of hosting major sporting events, in particular a successful 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty ”, said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “This will be a true showcase of the incredible skill, power and elegance of our sport, determining not only the best women boxers in the world across ten weight categories, but also the first 12 qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
Boxing in Kazakhstan is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to grassroots investment and the rapid growth of the women’s sport. The President of the tournament’s Local Organising Committee Bolat Abdrakhmanov is in no doubt that the AIBA Women’s World Championships will be one of the most memorable events on the sporting calendar this year.
“Women’s boxing is becoming more and more popular every year and its introduction during the London 2012 Olympic Games was hugely important for the sport. People love boxing in Kazakhstan, so it will be great for them to be able to witness its stars compete and gives another reason for more women in our country to get involved in this great sport”, said Bolat Abdrakhmanov.
Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be defending the lightweight title she won two years ago in Jeju, Korea, while Nicola Adams will be hoping to get her Olympic preparations off to the ideal start having missed out in 2014 with a shoulder injury.
“I’m hungry for a shot at the World Championship title in Astana but I know that it’s going to be tough against such a strong field”, said Britain’s Olympic flyweight champion Adams. “Women’s boxing deserves events of this scale and the team can’t wait to get going – this year is going to provide the perfect showcase for our sport and we are ready to show what we can do.”