The Olympic boxing qualification matches for Asia/Oceania in Wuhan, China has been called off and the Philippines could be one of its new hosts.
Philippine Olympic Committee President and Tagaytay Rep. Abraham Tolentino expressed his interest in having the qualifiers held in the country, in support of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines’ efforts to make this happen.
“We support ABAP’s suggestion to transfer the tournament to the Philippines. The Philippine Olympic Committee will endeavor to assist in whatever way it can,” said Tolentino in a statement.
Organizers have reportedly scrapped the staging of regional qualifying rounds for the Tokyo Olympics’ boxing events next month in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
The city and other locations in China are currently dealing with outbreaks of pneumonia blamed on a new coronavirus.
The event was supposed to be held from February 3 to 14.
The reported cancellation was made in response to numerous appeals from participating countries in order to protect the health and security of athletes and other attendees.
Reports of cancellation came ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s official announcement of the new date and venue of the rescheduled events.
Other regional boxing qualifiers will begin next month from different parts of the world.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas has expressed his concern over the situation and was among those who have written a letter to the organizers.
“With the Olympic Qualification Tournament for Asia-Oceania fast approaching, the daily reports about the worsening situation have caused very urgent apprehensions among our boxers, officials and the public at large,” said Vargas in his letter.
Vargas said they are open to the idea of hosting the qualifiers.
“We are also keenly considering hosting the said tournament, should the requirements be feasible. Please let us know,” wrote Vargas.
“We are hoping to qualify athletes here. Now, the numbers of athletes that we will send no longer matters at the moment,” said boxing executive director Ed Picson.
So far, preparations for the games have already been delayed after the IOC in June took over the boxing competition and suspended the international boxing federation due to issues with its finances and governance.
The IOC have instead set up a task force, led by its member and International Gymnastics Federation head Morinari Watanabe, to organize the boxing events.
Picson, on the other hand, said they are now awaiting word from the IOC on the official status of the Wuhan event.
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