The Asian/Oceanian qualifying event on the Boxing Road to Tokyo kicked off today, with 21 bouts contested at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.
Athletes in five weight categories stepped into the ring on the inaugural day, competing in the preliminary sessions: the women’s and men’s featherweights, and the men’s lightweights, middleweights and light-heavyweights.
Women’s featherweights (54kg to 57kg)
In the preliminary women’s featherweight bouts, the 2019 South Asian Games silver medallist, Krismi Ayoma Dulan LANKAPURAYALAGE (SRI), won the very first bout of the event, beating Indonesia’s Silpa Lau RATU by a 4:1 decision. In the following bout, the 2019 Asian Confederation Women’s Boxing Championships bronze medallist, Yodgoroy MIRZAEVA (UZB), prevailed over Micronesia’s 2016 Olympic flagbearer, Jennifer CHIENG, by unanimous decision.
Men’s featherweights (52kg to 57kg)
India’s Gaurav SOLANKI won the first men’s bout of the tournament by unanimous decision (5:0), competing in the featherweight category against Akylbek ESENBEK UULU (KGZ). In the following bout, it was Daniyal SHAHBAKHSH of Iran who moved up in the brackets, outscoring Po-Yi CHEN of Chinese Taipei by 5:0.
Men’s lightweights (57kg to 63kg)
Nepal’s Sanil SHAHI secured victory against Kyrgyzstan’s Argen KADYRBEK UULU with a sharp 5:0 decision in the first men’s lightweight competition on today’s schedule. The Nepalese athlete, coming from the nation home to the highest peak in the world, won his first bout in an Olympic qualifier here in Jordan, the country with the lowest point on Earth. “I do train in Nepal, at a high altitude, but I don’t think that gives me any physical advantage. Maybe, I just don’t feel it. But anyhow, today it worked well.” SHAHI said after the match. “It’s a wonderful start to the tournament. There’s another couple of bouts to win, and I will qualify for Tokyo 2020!”
Men’s middleweights (69kg to 75kg)
The first bout of the men’s middleweight event was stopped by the referee 1 minute and 16 seconds into the second round, and was won by Kirra RUSTON (AUS) over KAN Leong Tai of Hong Kong. The following three bouts were all decided with unanimous 5:0 decisions. Syria’s Ahmad GHOUSOON, Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd MUSKITA and India’s Kumar ASHISH advanced in the brackets, winning their respective bouts.
“I have been working hard in preparation of this event, and I am peaking in the right moment. I feel strong,” ASHISH said after winning his match against Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Wei KAN. “I started boxing in 2011, but this is my first big competition, and it feels wonderful. The venue is great, and the stage is amazing, I have never been at anything like this before. Competing here is a privilege.”
In the same weight category, Jordan’s hope, Hisham Osama Majed ELSIMREEN, did not make it through his first bout, as he lost to Uzbekistan’s Fanat KAKHRAMONOV during the afternoon’s session. Fighting back right to the last second, he won the applause of the crowd at the Prince Hamza Hall. ELSIMREEN said: “I did not perform at my best. At the same time, I am happy, because I shared the ring with a very good athlete. And that’s what I want: to build experience. I want to meet the best, in order to become the best,” he continued, “I will certainly compete in the world’s qualifier in Paris, trying my best to gain a spot in the next Games”.
Men’s light-heavyweights (75kg to 81kg)
New Zealand’s Jerome PAMPELLONE beat Japan’s UMEMURA Ren in the inaugural men’s light-heavyweight bout, with a 4:1 decision. Two unanimous decisions set the afternoon sessions’ bouts, that saw CHEN Daxaing (CHN) and Paulo AOKUSO (AUS) advancing to the next phase of the competition.
More to come
The Asian/Oceanian qualifying event on the Boxing Road to Tokyo in Amman will run until 11 March, and sees 221 athletes (151 men and 70 women) from 35 countries competing for 63 Olympic quota places. The event will continue tomorrow, 4 March, with 24 more preliminary bouts.
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, Russian and Hindi, beginning on 3 March at 11 a.m. EET (local time). 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.
The session schedule for the Asian/Oceanian qualifying event can be found here.