Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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No More Women's Weights for Rio 2016
By Michael O’Neill
July 25, 2013
WBAN Petition

(JULY 25) The A.I.B.A has lost its battle to persuade the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C) to include three additional weights for Rio 2016 in a decision that will surprise and seriously displease all supporters of the sport worldwide.

Women’s boxing had been one of the great success stories of London 2012 and the AIBA had been hopeful that there could be six weight classes in Rio.

A statement just in from I.O.C Executive Board HQ in Lausanne, Switzerland offered this explanation: "The EB discussed the topic of possible modifications to disciplines, events, quotas and competition formats at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and reiterated that any request from International Federations that would result in a higher number of athletes or increased number of medals, thereby adding to the cost and complexity of the Games, would not be considered."

Today, an AIBA spokesperson said :"The International Boxing Association (AIBA) take note and respect this decision but hope that more opportunities will be opened to women boxers at the 2020 Olympic Games."

The decision will come as a great blow to AIBA chief, Dr Ching Kuo-Wu who had been in active discussion to have an additional three weights included It should be stressed that similar hopes from other sporting organisations have also been dashed including those of Sailing, Swimming and Cycling.

You will recall that after London 2012 IOC President Jacques Rogge had said : “I think we have been vindicated that it was a good decision, and it’s only the beginning.”

Once again boxers will have to lose or gain weight if they are to have any hope of competing in Rio where such as Nicola Adams, Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor will be hoping to retain their titles.

On hearing today’s news that there will be no additional weights at Rio 2016 , Pete Taylor, famed Irish coach - and father - of Olympic Gold Medallist and four times AIBA world champion – Katie Taylor , expressed his thoughts on the subject.

“I am disappointed and very surprised by this , said Pete Taylor. “It’s crazy and once again women boxers are being treated as second class citizens.

“I thought that given the success of the sport at the London Olympics that women’s boxing would get two or three more weight classes for Rio. It beggars belief that they are once again being restricted to three weights.

“Women’s boxing proved itself at London 2012. The bouts were exciting and very competitive and were just as good as the men’s.

They are not looking for any special treatment. All they are looking for is to be treated equally. “

WBAN expresses the hope that that IOC and AIBA will again review the possibility of adding more weights for 2016 and feel sure that such a ‘change of heart’ would be welcomed by boxing supporters the world over.

At a time when the world of boxing is at a ‘cross roads’ in many countries, the AIBA is on to a winner in doing everything in its power to promote more women’s boxing not only in the Olympic Games but also through AIBA TV, and in the not too distant future through its soon to be released APB programme.

Remember those hazy, crazy, Golden Days last Summer (August 2012) at the ExCeL ? What a tremendous boost for the I.O.C and for A.I.B.A as well as finally recognising women’s boxing.

Remember how TV and world media reported via TV,Radio. Twitter, Facebook and all social media comments like this from Irish National TV broadcaster RTE :

RTÉ Sport (via Twitter)

IOC official: Decibel level during Katie Taylor fight hit 113.7 - the highest recorded at the Games so far (Jet engine is 140 decibels)

To IOC and AIBA, WBAN says :Let’s have more of the same please in Rio in 2016 but with more weights. It is never too late to re-consider.

As the old proverb goes : “Where there is a will there is a way”

More news as we have it here on WBAN.COM with early reaction from boxers – and supporters – round the world.

WBAN PETITIONS THIS ISSUE:  http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-increase-weight-classes-for-female-boxers-in-2016-olympic-games-in-rio-de-janeiro

Others reporting this:

Morning Star Online

Sporting Life

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