Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, is gearing up to host the Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament, marking the fifth stage of the Boxing Road to Paris 2024. As an integral part of the 17th Pacific Games, this boxing showdown will determine the the elite boxers from Oceania who will earn their coveted spots at the upcoming Olympic Games.
Set within the Friendship Hall, a newly built international standard multipurpose indoor sports facility, more than 140 athletes from 17 nations will converge to display their prowess. From November 27th to December 2nd, the venue will witness fierce competition across 13 Olympic weight categories (and 12 non-Olympic categories), as boxers will compete to secure one of the 13 Paris 2024 Olympic quota places up for grabs there, one for each event’s winner (6 for women and 7 for men).
Among the boxers preparing to leave a mark on this event, several athletes to watch have emerged, each ready to impress with their exceptional skills and determination. Here’s a look at some this notable athletes:
Harry Garside, an Olympic bronze medalist, is a part of the 13-member Australian boxing squad selected for the upcoming Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands. The 26-year-old boxer previously clinched a podium finish in the men’s lightweight division during Tokyo 2020 and secured the Commonwealth Games title in Gold Coast 2018. Becoming the first Australian in over three decades to earn an Olympic boxing medal by claiming bronze at the Tokyo Games, Garside is anticipated to be a formidable contender in the Men’s 63.5kg class.
Caitlin Parker, a 27-year-old middleweight athlete hailing from Western Australia, arrives at the Pacific Games with a remarkable record, having secured podium positions twice at the Commonwealth Games. With a history as a Tokyo Olympian, there’s high anticipation that she will secure her spot for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Team New Zealand presents a formidable twelve-member squad, comprising six notably experienced boxers, including Tasmyn BENNY (Women’s 50kg), Erin Elizabeth WALSH (Women’s 60kg), Alex MUKUKA (Men’s 57kg), Wendell STANLEY (Men’s 71kg), Emile RICHARDSON (Men’s 80kg), and Patrick MAILATA (Men’s +92kg), all of whom have exhibited their prowess at the Commonwealth Games.
Honiara will welcome several medalists from the 2019 Pacific Games, each with the dual objectives of defending their titles and securing coveted Olympic quota places. Notable among them are Nauru’s Christon AMRAM in the Men’s 57kg category, Papua New Guinea’s John UME (Men’s 63.5kg), Samoa’s Ato PLODZICKI-FAOAGALI (Men’s 92kg), and Federated States of Micronesia’s Jennifer CHIENG (Women’s 54kg). These exceptional athletes bring both experience and determination, aiming to maintain their dominance in their respective weight divisions while also eyeing qualification for the upcoming Olympics.
The Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament stands as the final continental opportunity to secure berths for Paris 2024. However, the pursuit of Olympic tickets doesn’t end there, as two World Qualifiers are scheduled for the next year: the first world qualification tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy – from March 4th to 11th, 2024, will allocate 49 quota places (21 Women and 28 Men). The second world qualification tournament will take place in Bangkok, Thailand – from May 23rd to June 3rd, 2024.