Officials of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines are keenly awaiting developments after the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force decided yesterday to suspend three Olympic qualifiers.
Among those that were called off because of the threats posed by the coronavirus pandemic are the European qualifiers that were supposed to be held in London from March 14 to 16, the Americas qualifiers between May and June in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the final world qualifiers in Paris, France.
Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority for the BTF.
“Since the preparation phase of the event, the BTF has been working in close cooperation with the Local Organizing Committee—the delivery body of the competition—as well as its stakeholders, its own medical experts and the national health authorities, to set up the necessary precautionary measures,” said the BTF in a statement.
The ABAP was hoping to send more qualifiers to Paris and after two of the six boxers it sent two weeks ago in Asian qualifiers in Amman, Jordan earned qualifications seats.
“The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event today, amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home,” added the IOC Task Force in their statement.
The BTF will continue to evaluate the situation daily and will seek to to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June.
The Task Force added that its priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play and it will inform all stakeholders as soon as more information is available.
So far, middleweight Eumir Marcial and women’s flyweight Irish Magno made it to the Tokyo Olympics, joining early qualifiers pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo.
Marcial made it past the quarterfinals and put away Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan via a split decision victory on Wednesday evening in Amman, Jordan.Peter Atencio
The 28-year-old Magno turned back Tajikistan’s Sumaiya Qosimova via unanimous decision, 4-1, in the boxoffs.