Thursday 18 July 2019

IOC confirms amateur boxing task force to replace AIBA at Tokyo Olympics as programme announced

Vladimir Nikitin of Russia was controversially declared victorious over Ireland's Michael Conlan during their Bantamweight quarter-final bout at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Vladimir Nikitin of Russia was controversially declared victorious over Ireland's Michael Conlan during their Bantamweight quarter-final bout at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Seán McGoldrick

Details of the boxing programme at the Tokyo Olympics next year have been announced by the International Olympic Committee which has taken over the running of the tournament from AIBA, the world governing body of boxing.

A four-member task force has been established by the IOC to run the tournament, but no details were given about who will be recruited to act as judges or referees.

However, it was announced that no member of the former leadership of AIBA or personnel involved in professional boxing would be involved in the task force.

The big change comes in the gender balance of the boxers who will be competing in Tokyo. Though the overall number remains unchanged at 286, there will be a 25 per cent increase in the number of female boxers.

The quota will be made up of 186 male and 100 female boxers compared to 250 men and 36 women in Rio.

This has been achieved by dropping the light flyweight and light welterweight divisions in men and adding feather and welterweight categories to the women's programme.

The men's event will be fly (52kg), feather (57kg), light (63kg), welter (69kg), middle (75kg), light heavy (81kg), heavy (91kg), super heavy (91+kg). The women’s weights will be fly (51kg), feather (57kg), light (60kg), welter (69kg) and middle (75kg).

A total of four continental qualification tournaments together with one 'last chance saloon' event being held between January and May of next year. Interestingly these events will be staged in cities of host countries of recent or upcoming Olympics Games. 

While the IOC statement says the number of places up for grabs at the respective continental tournament will be based on 'participation and results at the past two Olympic Games and two World championships' they don’t give the actual figures.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the AIBA Tom Virgets had acknowledged that the organisation is on the verge of financial collapse in the wake of the IOC decision to strip them of the right to organise the boxing tournament at the Tokyo Games.

It means the organisation will not receive the €15.6m revenue due to be distributed by the IOC to sporting federations after the Tokyo Games next year.

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