Twenty-eight bouts took place on day six at the Asian/Oceanian Boxing Road to Tokyo qualifier in Amman, Jordan, an event in which 221 athletes (151 men and 70 women) from 35 countries have been competing for 63 Olympic quota places in 13 weight categories (eight men’s and five women’s events).
The tournament reached the quarter-finals phase, the gateway to Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020, as the top four or top five athletes in each event (depending on their weight category) are awarded a quota place (find the qualification system here).
Twenty-eight boxers qualified for Tokyo on Sunday – six from Kazakhstan, five from India, four from China, three from Uzbekistan, Jordan and Australia, and one from New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the Philippines.
Cheered on by a number of local fans in the Prince Hamzah Hall, Jordanian brothers Hussein and Zeyad IASHAISH and their team-mate Odai Riyad Adel ALHINDAWI all won their quarter-final bouts, booking three tickets to Tokyo and marking a record for Jordan.
The first quota place was secured in the men’s light heavyweight event (75-81kg) by Alhindawi, who defeated Thailand’s Jakkapong YOMKHOT with a unanimous judges’ decision during the morning session.
“This is the first step,” he said. “The Olympics were a dream, but not anymore. I am very excited and believe I can go on to win a medal in Tokyo. I am not alone; this is a team effort with my coach and everyone else behind me. I thank them all for their support.”
After watching his brother and Alhindawi qualify, 25-year-old Hussein faced and beat Samoa’s Ato Leau PLODZICKI-FAOAGALI in the men’s heavyweight (81-91kg) match to secure his second Olympic appearance, following the Rio Games four years ago.
“After watching Zeyad and Odai, I wanted to qualify in style, so I was delighted to stop him,” he said. “I am so proud of my brother as well, and I promise this summer you will see headlines of the Iashaish brothers doing something special in Tokyo.”
His next fight will be against Olympic silver medallist and no. 1 seed Vassily LEVIT of Kazakhstan, who beat Tajikistan’s Davlat BOLTAYEV by unanimous decision. In the same men’s heavyweight division, New Zealand’s David NYIKA won a quota place by claiming victory in his semi-final against Syria’s Alaa Aldin GHOUSOON with a unanimous decision.
Younger brother Zeyad, competing in the men’s welter (63-69kg) event, overcame American Samoa’s Marion Faustino AH TONG, advancing in the brackets and securing Jordan’s second Olympic quota.
“Thank God I was able to win a tough fight,” he said. “I did it for my family and all of Jordan. My dream was always to fight at the Olympics, and it has come true. I want to go on and win this championship now, and then plan for Tokyo.”
Kazakhstan was the country that won the highest number of quota places on this day of competition, with six Olympic berths.
“I’m one of the youngest competitors here, and I didn’t believe that I had the experience to win. I just came to participate,” said Nadezhda RYABETS, the Kazakh boxer who won the women’s middleweight (69-75kg) semi-final, beating NGUYEN Thi Huong of Vietnam. “I can’t believe that I’ve just managed to qualify for the Olympic Games.”
Her team-mate, Ablaikhan ZHUSSUPOV, claimed a Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota in the men’s welter (63-69kg) event, clearing his semi-final bout against Thailand’s MASUK Wuttichai with the judges’ unanimous decision. Bekzad NURDAULETOV secured another Olympic spot in the men’s light heavy (75-81kg) event, winning against Tajikistan’s Shabbos NEGMATULLOEV. In the men’s middle (69-75kg) event, Abilkhan AMANKUL advanced as he claimed victory against Uzbekistan’s Fanat KAKHRAMONOV, while in the men’s super heavyweight (+91kg) semi-final, the last bout of the day, it was Kamshybek KUNKABAYEV who completed Kazakhstan’s positive set, claiming the country’s sixth Olympic quota place by beating China’s Maimaiti AIHEMAITI.
India also finished in the spotlight, claiming five Olympic berths. Highlights of the day were the sharp victories of Ashish KUMAR in the men’s middle (69-75kg) category (he beat Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd MUSKITA) and his team-mate Satish KUMAR, who grabbed India’s fifth quota place of the day in the men’s super heavy (+91kg) quarter-final.
“I am the first super heavyweight boxer from India to have qualified for the Olympics. I am very happy and proud that I’m representing my country,” said Satish Kumar.
“I’m feeling very good after this bout, and I want to dedicate this to my father, who passed away one month ago,” said Ashish Kumar in an emotional statement after his victory. “Whatever I did today, I did because I wanted to fulfil his dream. It was also his wish for me to go to the Olympics.”
Follow the action live
The Boxing Road to Tokyo Asian/Oceanian qualifying event continues today. 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, Russian and Hindi. Coverage will be available in all territories worldwide for free at olympicchannel.com and on its apps for mobile and connected TV devices.
News, photos and results will be posted online on the dedicated Amman qualifier page of the Athlete365 Boxing Corner platform. We encourage fans to join the conversation online using the hashtag #Boxing.