THE Americas Olympic qualification event, that was due to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from May 10-16 has been cancelled.
This is due to tighter travel restrictions and lockdowns that have been implemented across the region affecting the ability of teams to get to the event.
In a statement the Boxing Task Face, that administers the event, said: “Given the nature of the event as an Olympic qualifier which will award a large number of direct quota places (49) for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, ensuring fair access and a safe environment for all athletes and officials is of the greatest importance. This is in line with the key principles followed by the BTF [Boxing Task Force], which remains committed to delivering a fair and equitable Olympic qualification process, providing certainty to the athletes and allowing sufficient time for them to prepare for Tokyo 2020, while always prioritising athlete health and safety.
“Unfortunately, the current situation in the region does not provide the assurances needed for these principles to be followed at the event scheduled in Buenos Aires.
“For this reason, after a thorough assessment and consultations with teams, the BTF’s Athlete Ambassadors and boxing experts plus the Local Organising Committee, the BTF has decided to cancel the event and restructure the Tokyo 2020 qualification pathway for the Americas region.”
They decided, with less than four weeks to go, it would not be possible to reschedule for a different location or date.
The new qualification pathway for the Americas region is now as follows:
- Considering that only the boxers registered to compete in the Americas qualifier would have had a chance to gain one of the Olympic quota places originally at stake in the event, the allocation of the 49 athlete quota places (33 for men, 16 for women) of the Americas Olympic Qualifier will remain exclusive to the athletes registered for the event.
- All 49 quota places of the Americas Olympic Boxing Qualifiers will be allocated via the BTF Rankings
- The reallocation of the 13 quota places originally due to be obtained at the World Olympic Qualifier and redirected to the Americas will be conducted only after allocation of the 49 athlete quota places of the Americas Olympic Qualifier. It should be noted that the registration of the athletes by their relevant National Federation and NOC to participate in the Americas Olympic Boxing Qualifiers will be understood as “participating in one of the Olympic Qualification Events organised by the Boxing Task Force” and serve, along with the other criteria, for the purposes of allocating such quota places.
“This is a difficult decision, but it is one that puts boxers first and gives athletes, National Federations and National Olympic Committees certainty ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said the BTF Chair, Mr Morinari Watanabe. “The development of the situation in Argentina and across the region, and the resulting travel restrictions to and from Buenos Aires, could have resulted in athletes and teams not being able to participate in the qualifier, which is a risk that could not be taken.”
The European qualifier is still due to resume in Paris, from 4 to 8 June.