By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) India’s chances of earning a few more boxing quota places for this year’s Olympic Games, have diminished as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force, entrusted with the job of organising the competition in Tokyo, has scrapped the Paris World qualifier, scheduled to be held in June, due to Covid pandemic.
It was the last qualification competition for the Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 23-August 8.
There were 53 quota places up for grabs, including 21 in the women’s category, and these will now be distributed through the global ranking system after the end of the continental events are over.
The Indian team has secured nine quota places, one more than the 2012 London Games.
Six time world champion MC Marykom (51kg) is one of the leading boxers in the women’s category to have won quota in the 2021 Olympic qualification cycle. Simaranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), and Pooja Rani (75kg) are the others to have made the cut. Prominent boxers to have earned Olympic quota in the men group are Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishnan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Satish Kumar (91kg)
Santiago Nieva, the high performance director of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), says the cancellation of the Paris World qualifier is a big disappointment. He was hopeful of the boxers earning two or three more quota places.
“These are unprecedented times for all and things are changing. The performance of our boxers has been excellent in almost all the competitions they have participated in the past. But now we have to wait till the ranking system is made public,” the foreign expert said on the uncertainty.
The 2020 Asia Oceania held from March 3 to 11 in Jordan was the last boxing Olympic qualification event.