Philippines wants to step in as host of Olympic boxing qualifiers
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - January 23, 2020 - 4:05pm

MANILA Philippines — With the Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifier in Wuhan, China already cancelled due to health reasons, the Association of the Boxing Alliances in the Philippines has reiterated its offer to the International Olympic Committee boxing task force to host the event.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson on Thursday said the focus now is wooing the task force headed by world gymnastics president Morinari Watanabe to give the hosting rights to the Philippines, which successfully hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December.

With the support of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Picson said they have already sent a letter to Watanabe even before the cancellation and he is hopeful they could get the nod to host the meet since the home court advantage should be beneficial to the country’s campaign to earn to slots to the Tokyo Games.

MIkee Cojuangco-Jaworski, the country’s representative to the IOC, promised to put in a good word about the country’s hosting intent.

“Mikee (Jaworski) assured she would remind Watanabe of our offer,” said Picson. 

Picson confirmed the cancellation just Thursday as he received the official communique from the IOC only late Wednesday night.

“The IOC Boxing Task Force noted today’s (Wednesday) decision of the local organizing committee to cancel the Asia Oceania Tokyo 2020 Boxing Qualifying Event which was due to take place in Wuhan from Feb. 3-14, amid growing concerns in relation to the corona-virus outbreak reported in the city,” said Watanabe in a statement.

The task force, however, did not mention as to where and when the competition will resume.

“The Task Force continues to work closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee and all partners to explore alternatives and will immediately inform National Olympic Committees, National Federations and officials on any development,” he said.

This meant the Philippines has a realistic chance of getting the hosting rights.

“I think the statement left that possibility, it was open ended,” said Picson.

The cancellation should be a relief not just for the Filipino boxers but other pugs from other countries as well after they voiced concerns over health fears in Wuhan, which was ground zero of the new flu-like coronavirus that took many lives.

The Filipinos are fielding in a competitive team headed by reigning world women’s champion Nesthy Petecio and last year’s World Championship silver medal winner Eumir Felix Marcial, who are eyeing nothing less than a berth to Tokyo.

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