Olympic boxing qualifiers reset to March 3-14 outside China
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - January 24, 2020 - 4:23pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine team and other participating countries worried over the deadly outbreak can now breathe a sigh of relief as the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force, which organizes the Asia Oceania Olympic qualifier, decided to move the event entirely out of China.

Just a day after it cancelled the event initially slated February 3-14 in Wuhan, the BTF headed by world gymnastics president Morinari Watanabe has reset it to March 3 to 11 in another country outside China. 

“The boxing qualifying event has now been rescheduled, and is planned to take place between March 3 to 11. The BTF is currently exploring alternative locations outside the People’s Republic of China and will immediately inform the National Olympic Committees, National Federations and officials as soon as a new host is appointed,” said Watanabe in a statement.

And while the BTF starts its search for a new host, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines has renewed calls of its intent to host the competition.

“What letter we sent previously was official. We will, however, write to follow up our request for guidelines for hosting,” said ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson.

Picson said being host is critical since the “home court edge” will surely boost the country’s chances of qualifying an athlete or two to the Tokyo Games set this July.

It happened last December when the Philippines rode on the advantage of holding the 30th Southeast Asian Games on home soil in claiming its second overall title in record feat.

For the Philippines, boxing is among the sports that have a strong chance of advancing a boxer to Tokyo and eventually ending the long search for an elusive Olympic gold.

To date, the country has qualified two athletes to Tokyo — world champion gymnast Caloy Yulo and pole-vaulter Ej Obiena.

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