The Tokyo Olympics World Qualifying Tournament (WQT) for boxing that was initially scheduled to happen this May will not push through as the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force (BTF) this week confirmed its cancellation due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The BTF replaced the International Boxing Association (AIBA) when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the latter in 2019. With this, they are now tasked with organizing the boxing competitions in the Olympics.
As planned, the said qualifying tourney is set to happen in Paris, France this May.
Meanwhile, according to Ricky Vargas, President of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP), the cancellation is somehow advantageous to Filipino boxers who have yet to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics come July 2021.
“This might prove beneficial to our cause since some of our boxers are ranked highly among those who have not yet qualified. I hope we get at least two more in Tokyo,” said Vargas, who is optimistic with the possibility that the BTF would just consider the athlete’s current world ranking to qualify in the Olympics which favours Filipino boxers.
For his part, ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson reiterated that flyweight boxer Carlo Paalam and women’s featherweight world champion Nesthy Petecio have high chances to qualify and partake in Tokyo 2020+1.
In the meantime, the Filipino boxers vying for a ticket to the Olympics will fly to Thailand to conduct a training camp to prepare themselves not only for the Olympic qualifying but also for the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam later this year.
The BTF is expected to announce the list of boxers who qualified for the Olympics this March.