168 boxers arrive in Paris to compete in the Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier


The Boxing Road to Tokyo European Qualifier is due to resume in Paris (FRA), where the event will be held at the Le Grand Dôme in Villebon-sur-Yvette from 4 to 8 June.

The event will resume from where it was suspended, after day three of competition, in London (GBR) on 16 March 2020. There, 316 boxers from 43 nations competed on the rings of the Copper Box Arena, moving forward in the brackets and earning the first 16 quota places assigned to the European continent. Those results and quota places are valid and still stand as the event resumes in the French capital.

After the first 16 quota places were awarded in London, 61 additional Tokyo 2020 quota places are now up for grabs here in Paris, in the last boxing qualifier before the Games, which will see 168 athletes from 37 countries competing for their Olympic dream.

The top eight boxers will earn a Tokyo 2020 spot in the men’s flyweight (52kg), featherweight (57kg) and lightweight (63kg), meaning that all the quarter-finalists in those events will earn a qualification slot.

Olympic quota places will also be assigned to the best six boxers in the women’s flyweight (51kg), women’s featherweight (57kg), women’s lightweight (60kg), men’s welterweight (69kg), men’s middleweight (75kg) and men’s light heavyweight (81kg).

Four qualification slots will be up for grabs in the women’s middleweight (75kg), men’s heavyweight (91kg) and men’s super-heavyweight (+91kg), while five quota places will be available in the women’s welterweight (69kg).

Athletes to watch

There are a number of athletes to watch as the event  resumes. Three Olympic champions have made the Paris list: The Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn (women’s 75kg), France’s Sofiane Oumiha (63kg), and Azerbaijan’s Lorenzo Sotomayor (69kg) are ready to put on their gloves and step into the ring, looking for a ticket to Tokyo.

Host country France is presenting a renewed group of young and skilled athletes, ready to pick up the baton from the team that amazed boxing fans in Rio de Janeiro. Their biggest stars include World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Billal Bennama (52kg) and Samuel Kistohurry (57kg), who have already qualified for Tokyo. Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist Sofiane Oumiha (63kg) and seven of her teammates are still in the competition, and will be boxing on their home turf.

On its side, Team Great Britain is lining up 12 strong hopes here in Paris. Among them, the spotlight will be on European champion Peter McGrail (men’s 57kg), World Boxing Championships silver medallist Pat McCormack (men’s 69kg), and  European Games silver medallist Benjamin Whittaker (81kg), who said: “I am looking forward to this event so much, and I expect tough competition: there are not any easy opponents in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event.”

Monaco made its debut at the European Qualifier in London last year, and its 69kg hope, Hugo Micallef, defied all the odds to win his preliminary bout and will continue boxing here in Paris, on his road to Tokyo 2020.

Bulgaria’s former women’s world champion Stanimira Petrova (57kg) will also be part of the competition. In the lead-up to the competition, she said: “I trained 20 hours per week in recent months to accomplish my goals in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. I have only one mission, to earn the Olympic spot for Tokyo!”

2018 women’s world champion Kellie Harrington of Ireland is also ready to step back into the ring. “I just want to go out and do my best,” she said, “I have learnt in the recent nearly one-and-a-half years to always expect the unexpected. There has been plenty of challenges with loads of highs and lows, but I have overcome them and adapted. Team Ireland have worked hard and done all we can. All that’s left now is to step into the ring and showcase our craft.”

Follow the action live

Fans can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel, with all the women’s and men’s bouts across all weight categories available with commentary in English and Spanish. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide free of charge at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.

News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Paris Qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner website. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.

The Tokyo 2020 quota places up for grabs at the European Qualifier:

Women’s 51kg: 6 slots

Women’s 57kg: 6 slots

Women’s 60kg: 6 slots

Women’s 69kg: 5 slots

Women’s 75kg: 4 slots

Men’s 52kg: 8 slots (already awarded in London)

Men’s 57kg: 8 slots (already awarded in London)

Men’s 63kg: 8 slots

Men’s 69kg: 6 slots

Men’s 75kg: 6 slots

Men’s 81kg: 6 slots

Men’s 91kg: 4 slots

Men’s +91kg: 4 slots

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