No Olympic guarantee for Nesthy
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Fresh from capturing the gold medal in the featherweight division at the AIBA World Women’s Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia, last weekend, Nesthy Petecio has to prove herself all over again to book a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.

The world title is no guarantee for Petecio to represent the country in the coming Olympics because the recent tournament wasn’t an Olympic qualifier. It’s the same situation with Eumir Marcial who claimed the silver medal at the AIBA World Men’s Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia last month. Both Petecio and Marcial will go through one or two qualifying competitions, depending on their performance, in bidding to fight in Tokyo. No fighter is seeded in the qualifiers.

AIBA has been disenfranchised by IOC to supervise boxing in the next Olympics because of allegations of corruption implicating AIBA president Gafur Rahimov of Uzbekistan. IOC stripped AIBA of the right to organize the tournament due to “issues in the areas of finance, governance, ethics and refereeing and judging.” The IOC will oversee the boxing competition through an ad-hoc task force headed by International Gymnastics Federation president Morinari Watanabe of Japan. Boxing will be held on July 25-Aug. 9 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan involving 186 men and 100 women from 76 countries.

For men, the divisions were slashed from 10 to eight and for women, there was an increase from three to five. The men’s divisions are flyweight (52 kg), featherweight (57), lightweight (63), welterweight (69), middleweight (75), lightheavyweight (81), heavyweight (91) and superheavyweight (+91). The women’s divisions are flyweight (51 kg), featherweight (57), lightweight (60), welterweight (69) and middleweight (75).

In the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games late this year, the weight divisions are slightly different from the Olympics. For men, the divisions are lightflyweight (46-49 kg), flyweight (52), bantamweight (56), lightweight (60), lightwelterweight (64), welterweight (69), middleweight (75) and lightheavyweight (81). For women, the divisions are lightflyweight (48 kg), flyweight (51), bantamweight (54), featherweight (57) and lightweight (60). The divisions that are the same in the SEA Games and Olympics are flyweight, welterweight and middleweight for men and flyweight, featherweight and lightweight for women.

AIBA supervised the recent World Men’s and Women’s Championships and with the reopening of the protest process, was deluged by complaints. In the women’s tournament, there were reportedly 26 protests filed. AIBA previously banned protests but public clamor forced the return of the complaint process but only in fights decided by a 3-2 decision. Each protest comes with a fee of $1,000. If the protest is denied, the fee is forfeited. If the protest is upheld, half of the fee is returned.

As expected, the Russian federation protested Liudmila Vorontsova’s defeat to Petecio for the gold medal. Two judges David Cutting of Australia and Lee Hyeok of South Korea scored it a 30-27 shutout for Petecio while Ireland’s Ben McGarrigle saw it 29-28, also for the Filipina. Japan’s Sasaki Yasutaka had it a 30-27 shutout for Vorontsova while the Czech Republic’s Terezie Krejbychova tallied 29-28 for the Russian. “Two judges had it a shutout for Nesthy so their scores were decisive,” said ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson. “What I couldn’t understand was the scorecard of the Japanese judge who didn’t give a round to Nesthy.” The protest was not upheld.

In the Olympics, host Japan will be given slots for four men and two women. The Tripartite Invitation Committee will award wildcard tickets to five men and three women. For the Philippines, making it to the Olympics will entail fighting in the Asia and Oceania Championships in Wuhan on Feb. 3-14 and in the World Qualifying Tournament in Paris on May 13-24. Six slots are allocated for Asia and Oceania in the 52, 57 and 63 kg classes, five in the 69, 75 and 81 and four in the 91 and +91 for men. Six slots will be available in the 51, 57 and 60 kg divisions, five in 69 and four in 75 for women. Additionally, four or five slots will be awarded for 52, 57, 63, 69 and 75 kg, three or four in 81 and three in 91 and +91 for men through the World Qualifying Tournament but they will be for all countries. For women, five or six will be allocated in 51 kg, three or four in 57, 60 and 69 and three in 75 through the World Qualifying Tournament on a random country basis.

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