ABAP closely monitoring Wuhan situation

(The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines is closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan, China following an outbreak of pneumonia just weeks ahead of the Asia and Oceania boxing qualifier for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Ed Picson, secretary-general of ABAP, said everybody, including those from the host city and the participating countries, are hoping for the best in time for the event set Feb. 3 to 14.

Picson said apprehensions remain despite a letter they received yesterday from the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force, saying, “no travel restrictions and extra measures are needed.”

The IOC letter also said that the World Health Organization has outlined that “China has strong public health capacities and resources to respond and manage respiratory disease outbreaks.”

Picson said Thailand has expressed willingness to take over the hosting of the Olympic qualifier, and even the Philippines, which recently hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“With our recent hosting of the SEA Games, we have the mechanics in place,” said Picson. However, he doubted if China would give up the hosting since it has other venues nationwide that can stage the multi-nation event.

Picson said ABAP would field as many as eight boxers to the Asia and Oceania qualifiers, most of them gold medal winners in the recent SEA Games.

They include entries in the men’s 52 kg, 57 kg, 63 kg, 69 kg and 75 kg divisions, and the 51 kg, 57 kg and 69 kg in the women’s side.

In the men’s 52 kg, 57 kg and 63 kg and women’s 51 kg, six slots are at stake, including the four semifinalists and the two boxers that will lose to the eventual gold and silver medalists.

The rest of the divisions will offer five slots to Tokyo. For those who fail in Wuhan and the three other continental qualifiers (the Africas, Americas and Europe), the World qualifying tournament in Paris in May will be their last chance.

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