IOC finalises 2020 Games proposal for boxing

LAUSANNE (Switzerland) • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) thrashed out the plan for the boxing qualification and competition for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as it looks to run them without the suspended International Boxing Association (Aiba), the amateur code's world governing body.

It also proposed almost trebling the number of women competitors to 100 out of the 286 - up from 36 at Rio de Janeiro 2016. Men's numbers will be reduced to 186 from 250.

The IOC recommended last month that boxing should keep its place next year, but recognition of Aiba should be suspended until the issues surrounding its finances and governance are resolved.

The IOC executive board on Wednesday finalised weight categories (eight men, five women) for Tokyo as well as the qualification system.

There will be four regional qualifiers (Africa, Europe, Asia/Oceania and Americas) to be staged between January and April next year.

Japan, as host, will have the opportunity to directly qualify four men and two women.

IOC sports director Kit McConnell told a news conference: "To allow the athletes a second chance to qualify, we will have a final Olympic qualifying event probably in May next year."

All executive board decisions will need to be ratified by the IOC session in Lausanne next week.

Aiba has been in turmoil over its finances and governance for years. It is US$16 million (S$21.7 million) in debt and is plagued by an ongoing battle over the presidency that has split the body.

To survive between the Games, it largely depends on revenues from the quadrennial multi-sport showpiece event and has started letting people go as a result of its Olympic exclusion.

The IOC has set up a task force headed by Japanese IOC member Morinari Watanabe, head of the international gymnastics federation, to organise qualifiers and the Tokyo competition.

A separate task force, headed by Serbia's IOC member Nenad Lalovic, has been assigned to look into the ties with Aiba.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2019, with the headline 'IOC finalises 2020 Games proposal for boxing'. Print Edition | Subscribe