THERE is less than a year to go until the Tokyo Olympics. Concerns that there wouldn’t be a boxing tournament in 2020, with the international federation AIBA facing suspension by the IOC, can be laid to rest. Attention can turn fully to the boxers attempting to reach the Games with qualification events set to take place early next year. Women’s participation at Tokyo 2020 will be increased with more places and two more weight categories, though the men’s event will have fewer divisions and places for athletes.
“Everyone thought [boxing] would be in the Olympics and thankfully it is in the Olympics,” GB performance director Rob McCracken said. “It’ll always be harder when there are less places for the men, it’ll be harder. Men’s boxing has got huge strength in depth and you’ve got lots of good boxers at every weight. It’ll make it tougher for the men to qualify but we’ve expected it and we knew it was coming. We’ve got some really good male boxers on the programme and they’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Major tournaments lie ahead this year. There are women’s European championships, starting this month in Spain, and both men’s and women’s World championships set for Russia in September and October.