Tokyo 2020 boxing Olympic qualifying path to be restructured

15/02/2021

Lausanne, 15 February 2021  In the past 10 days, and reflecting the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) goals of transparency and putting athletes first, the BTF has consulted all boxing NFs, NOCs, its technical experts, the boxing Athlete Ambassadors and medical experts for their input, to understand the individual situations and considerations for the remaining Olympic boxing qualification events. This has included a review of the current challenges to international travel and related restrictions in many countries, and the resulting impacts on a fair and equitable Olympic qualification process.

The main consensus of the feedbacks received on the remaining boxing Olympic qualification process was as follows:

  1. To ensure fair and safest possible conditions for the boxers from all regions, including having the same opportunity to recover and properly prepare for both the qualifiers and, more importantly, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020;
  2. The importance of safeguarding the minimum period of 30 days between consecutive events (i.e. the last Continental Olympic Qualifier and the Final World Qualifier, and the Final World Qualifier and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020), especially given the current situation; and
  3. Additional concerns regarding the ever-evolving travel restrictions, quarantine requirements and governmental policies that could affect the athletes’ preparation timelines, their ability and ability to participate in the Olympic qualifiers and the presence of technical officials at these qualifiers.

The BTF met on 12 February 2021 and reinforced the health and safety of the athletes as the key focus, along with prioritising the Continental Olympic Qualifiers. This prioritisation of the continental events:

  1. Ensures that athletes of all regions have a fair and equal opportunity to qualify;
  2. Increases the time for athlete recovery and appropriate preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, reinforcing the BTF’s focus on medical and safety considerations; and
  3. Protects the BTF rankings and seeding system for the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament.

Therefore, after exploring all possible scenarios, the BTF has decided to restructure the remaining parts of the boxing qualification pathway for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as detailed below.

Completion of continental qualification events

The African and Asian/Oceanian continental qualification events have been completed, and the European qualification event has been partially completed.

European Olympic Qualifier:

The European Olympic Qualifier, initially scheduled to be held in London (GBR) in April 2021, has now been pushed back to June 2021. The location and dates will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Americas Olympic Qualifier:

The Americas Olympic Qualifier has been confirmed to take place in Buenos Aires (ARG) from 10 to 16 May 2021.

Replacement of World Olympic Qualifier with use of BTF rankings

As a consequence of prioritising the Continental Olympic Qualifiers, and the rescheduling of the European Olympic Qualifier, the final stage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing qualification process has been restructured. The final World Olympic Qualifier, scheduled to take place in Paris (FRA) in June 2021, will not be held.

The 53 quota places (32 men and 21 women) planned to be allocated at the final World Olympic Qualifier will now be allocated equally across the four regions (Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe) and all the weight categories. Following the fundamental principle of universality, one nominal quota (by name) will be allocated to the best ranked athlete not yet qualified per region and per weight category, as per the BTF rankings upon the conclusion of each respective continental event.

This ensures a new reallocation pathway, which is based on international on-field results recorded over the past four years (2017-2021), including but not limited to the BTF Olympic Qualification Events.

To ensure the utmost transparency and integrity of the allocation process, the BTF rankings were reviewed by an external auditor to ensure that all results have been accounted for accurately and in compliance with the BTF’s “Summary on Ranking & Seeding for the Olympic Boxing Qualifying Events and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”.

Athlete Ambassador Mary Kom of India – Olympic bronze medallist (London 2012) and six-time World Champion – added: “I would like to thank the Boxing Task Force for listening to our feedback, and for putting the health and safety of the athletes first in their decision process. BTF events are Olympic qualifiers, we should never forget that. Everybody deserves a fair opportunity to participate and have the appropriate time to recover after a competition and to prepare for the Olympic Games.”

Athlete Ambassador Shelley Watts – a Rio 2016 Olympian and a 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion from Australia – said: “All boxers from all regions should have the same opportunity to prepare, compete and qualify for the games & recover between events. While I feel sorry for the athletes not getting a chance to compete in a Final World qualifier, I 100% support the BTF’s solution to rearrange the qualification pathway to Tokyo 2020 in the best interests of all athletes!”

“This is the best way forward,” continued Athlete Ambassador Lukmon Lawal, London 2012 Olympian and 2011 All Africa Games silver medalist from Nigeria. “The BTF found a way to reorganise the Olympic Qualification path in a transparent manner. The continental qualifiers are protected, and the best boxers in the world will have another chance to qualify for the Games through on-field results accounted in the BTF Ranking.”

2016 Olympic Silver medalist and 2008 World Champ Sarah Ourahmoune, an Athlete Ambassador from France, said: “In my opinion, cancelling the Final World Qualifier and using the BTF World Ranking to distribute the 53 Olympic Quotas is the best option, in today’s context. This ensures that no athlete is excluded from the new qualification pathway to Tokyo 2020. We should not forget how many nations around the world are now facing travel restrictions and quarantine periods that affect boxers’ preparation and ability to compete.”

An updated version of the Tokyo 2020 Qualification System for Boxing – reflecting the aforementioned changes – will be published as soon as possible following the formal approval of the IOC Executive Board, which is expected by the end of February 2021.



Tokyo 2020 Boxing European Qualifier update

29/01/2021

Lausanne, 2021/01/29 – The Boxing Task Force (BTF), in a virtual meeting conducted yesterday, decided that the European Qualifier for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Boxing tournament will no longer be taking place in London in April.

The decision was taken in light of the current situation and increased travel restrictions to/from the UK and taking into consideration the feedback received from the European Boxing Federations and NOCs. 

The BTF is currently evaluating all possible options (including April in another location) and will provide an update regarding the European Qualifier on 17 February 2021.

The BTF would like to express its gratitude to the British Olympic Association, GB Boxing, UK Sport and all their stakeholders involved for their great commitment and efforts in supporting us during these extremely difficult and ever evolving times.



European boxing qualifier suspended, all results to be valid when the competition resumes

17/03/2020

In light of the constantly changing landscape worldwide, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) decided to suspend the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier in London, Great Britain, after the last bout of the third day of competition on 16 March.

The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event – as well as the subsequent Americas and world qualifiers – amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home.

The BTF’s priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it aims to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June.

When it resumes, the European qualifier will pick up from where it was suspended. The official draw, conducted in London on 13 March 2020, and the competition schedule that resulted from this draw, will remain valid and will apply when the event resumes. Only those athletes who were still in the event at the end of the third day of competition will be eligible to participate when the competition resumes. The established results (recorded between 14 and 16 March 2020 in London) will be valid moving forward, and the 16 Olympic quota places earned on 16 March will be valid for the boxing tournament of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Once again, the BTF would like to thank the host nations, the organising committees and all the participants involved for their support and tremendous efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@olympicboxing.sport.



IOC Boxing Task Force suspends European qualifier in London and all remaining events until May

16/03/2020

In light of the constantly changing landscape worldwide, the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) has decided today to suspend the current Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier in London, Great Britain, and the subsequent Americas and final world qualifiers, which were scheduled to take place in May.

The European qualifier, which started on 14 March and was planned to run until 24 March, will be closed after today’s evening session.

Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority for the BTF. Since the preparation phase of the event, the BTF has been working in close cooperation with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) – the delivery body of the competition – as well as its stakeholders, its own medical experts and the national health authorities, to set up the necessary precautionary measures.

The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event today, amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home.

The BTF will continue to evaluate the situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June. The BTF’s priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it will inform all stakeholders as soon as more information is available.

At the same time, the IOC is fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as was recently outlined again in the following statement: https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-statement-on-the-olympic-flame-lighting-and- the-olympic-games-tokyo-2020 .

The BTF would like to thank the host nations, the organising committees and all the participants involved for their support and tremendous efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@olympicboxing.sport

(Find here the IOC Boxing Task Force Statement on the matter, in PDF format)



Boxing Road to Tokyo Americas qualifying event in Buenos Aires suspended

11/03/2020

The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) regrets to inform that due to the Coronavirus outbreak and recent measures taken by the Argentinian government, the Boxing Road to Tokyo Americas qualifying event scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 26 March to 3 April has been suspended.

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) informed the BTF earlier today that the government of Argentina has taken the decision to restrict all types of international events in the country with immediate effect as a precautionary measure to COVID-19.

The BTF understands and respects the decision taken by the public authorities of Argentina during this difficult time worldwide. We are searching for the appropriate solution for this unexpected situation and will immediately inform the National Olympic Committees, National Federations and other impacted parties as soon as further information is available.

We apologize for this unexpected occurrence and understand the inconvenience for all stakeholders, especially for our athletes and delegations. We assure you that the BTF is doing its utmost to find the best solution.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at buenosaires.qualifier@olympicboxing.sport