The World Olympic Qualification Event came to a close on Saturday evening in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku, with nine further Olympic quota places awarded to take the total for the week to 39. Nine nations shared the ten gold medals, while 24 different nations qualified boxers for Rio 2016.
Among those now heading to Rio in August are Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov, who capped an excellent tournament with flyweight (52kg) gold after a brilliant win over United States’ Antonio Vargas, a result that also saw France’s Elie Konki’s earn a quota place.
Ukrainian World Championship bronze medallist Mykola Butsenko continued his superb tournament with a TKO win against Mongolian 19-year-old Tsendbaatar Erdenebat in the bantamweight (56kg) final, with Algeria’s Fahem Hammachi also qualifying for Rio. Great Britain’s Pat McCormack defeated Haitian teenage sensation Richardson Hitchins for the light welterweight (64kg) gold, with France earning another quota spot through quarter-finalist Hassan Amzile.
Ireland’s Michael O’Reilly won middleweight gold and will be pushing for a podium place in Rio, but teammate Dean Gardiner could not overcome Italy’s Guido Vianello in the final of the super heavyweight (+91kg), a bout that also saw the category’s sole Olympic spot go to the in-form Italian.
Azerbaijan’s Rufat Huseynov won the light flyweight (49kg) gold with Spanish talent Samuel Heredis unable to box, before Netherlands’ Enrico La Cruz proved he is back to his very best by winning the lightweight (60kg) final against Tajikistan’s Anvar Yunusov, while Hakan Erseker earned Qatar’s first-ever Olympic quota place.
France’s Souleymane Cissokho proved he is currently one of the best welterweight (69kg) boxers in the world by beating Hungary’s Balazs Bacskai for the gold medal, with Bulgaria’s Simeon Chamov also earning his team a Rio quota. Azerbaijan’s London 2012 bronze medallist Teymur Mammadov won the heavyweight (81kg) gold, before Poland’s Igor Jakubowski earned a brilliant gold and the sole heavyweight (91kg) quota place against Ecuador’s Julio Cesar Castillo.