The Hangzhou 19th Asian Games that were postponed a year to September 2023 would be decisive for Filipino boxers hoping to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
“The IOC [International Olympic Committee] has designated five continental games as one of three qualifiers for Paris 2024,” Tolentino said on Friday.
“After those continental championships, the IOC has also set two more world qualifiers in 2024.”
The IOC detailed its plans for the boxing for Paris 2024 in a memo sent to the International Boxing Association’s (IBA) Russian president Umar Kremlev and circulated to national Olympic committees on Thursday, the same day the organization’s executive board met at the Olympic House in Lausanne. IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and Chief Ethics and Compliance Office Pâquerette Girard Zappelli signed the memo.
The 2023 continental championships besides the 19th Asian Games, Tolentino said, are the Pan American Games (Santiago), European Games (Krakow), Pacific Games (Honiara) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.
The IOC didn’t specify in the memo how many boxers from the continental games would qualify for Paris 2024 as well as for the two world qualifiers in 2024.
“With three qualifiers, we have high hopes that we could send more boxers to Paris,” Tolentino said.
The Hangzhou Asian Games were originally scheduled this month but were moved to September 23 to October 8 next year because of the Covid-19 scare in China. The Paris Olympics are set from July 26 to August 11, 2024.
Four of the 19 Filipino Olympians in Tokyo last year were boxers with Nesthy Petecio (women’s featherweight) and Carlo Paalam (men’s flyweight) clinching silver and Eumir Felix Marcial (men’s bantamweight) bagging bronze behind Hidilyn Diaz’s women’s weightlifting gold medal.
Boxing has contributed a total of four silvers and four bronzes out of the Philippines’ 1-5-8 gold-silver-bronze haul in 22 Summer Games appearances.
The IOC will supervise the qualifiers and competitions for Paris 2024, while stressing in the same memo that boxing remains out of the Los Angeles 2028 Games program pending the resolution of the leadership and credibility crisis at the IBA.