Equality for Female Boxers in the Olympics

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Dr Ching-Kuo Seeks Record Third Term As International Boxing Association (AIBA) President
by Michael O'Neill
September 12, 2014


(SEPT 12) Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), announced this week that he will run in the AIBA Presidency election once again for the upcoming new term. If successful he would reign over the sport for a third – and final – four year term.

Photo: Dr Ching-Kuo Wu/Courtesy AIBA.org

In a communique to all AIBA National Member Federations, Dr Wu said: “I am greatly proud of what was achieved in the last 4 years together with you. As a true team, we progressed together on all projects and accomplished all objectives which were set at the 2010 AIBA Congress. These achievements would indeed not have been possible without your faithful trust and love for our sport.”

Commencing October, the Association will launch the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) competition ‘marking the commencement of another historical phase for the organization and sport. APB is poised to elevate the status of boxing and therefore benefit boxers and aspiring young pugilists’.

Within the AIBA President’s vision, the launch of the APB Competition is only a start to AIBA’s mission to “govern all levels of boxing worldwide.”

“Therefore, I have decided to run again for the AIBA Presidency to serve another 4 years and to continue enhancing all the AIBA programs together with you for more great achievements in all areas” – summarized Dr Ching-Kuo Wu in his letter.

The upcoming AIBA elections will take place during the AIBA Congress on November 14, 2014 in Jeju Island, South Korea during the AIBA Women’s Elite World Championships.

So what one wonders does Dr Wu plan to do to move closer towards ‘equality for women’ which has been his aim since the introduction of three weights at the XXXth Olympiad in London (2012)?

As WBAN has indicated ever since London and in our petition to International Olympic Committee President Dr Thomas Bach and to Dr Wu, it is far from ideal that at Rio 2016 there are still only the original three weights for women (under 51kg,under 60kg and under 75kg) meaning that boxers who fall between these weights face significant health risks either gaining or losing weight and in some instances taking on rivals who are much heavier.

In an ‘exclusive interview’ with the prestigious ‘Inside the Games’ (www.insidethegames.biz) 67 years old, Dr Wu indeed indicated that among his main aims for a fourth term is ‘increasing the number of events for female boxers on the Olympic programme’.

According to ‘InsideTheGames’,Wu,who is also a Vice-President and a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board, admits this will not be an easy process, ‘both because of the need to avoid sacrificing any male events and because of the IOC's reluctance to add new events within existing sports’.

‘Instead of removing any male categories, he hopes to reduce the number of boxers in each weight category in order to ensure a greater number of divisions."We need to study and, hopefully in the near future, insert one or two more events so the majority of female boxers are able to compete in the Olympics," he told insidethegames.

Wu confided: "This will not be easy, because we need to consider the Olympic programme overall.

"We need to think very carefully about how to comfortably include men and women in the Olympics.

"The tradition and history of male boxing has existed for a long time, and once we reduce categories it would create difficulties.

"So we are looking at whether we can absorb new events within the existing quota, by keeping a total number of 286 boxers across male and female events, but make some internal adjustments."

Speaking soon after the conclusion of the Youth Olympic Games (Nanjing 2014) , Wu also believes that new events could help increase the interest in boxing – and other sports

"With the Youth Olympics, every International Federation is now thinking about creating something, of the same nature and the same sport, but of a different format," he went on.

"So it can involve more young people and give them experience about the sport.

"I have issued this concept to our technical rule commission to study and discuss with the IOC this concept, for the Youth Olympics only, this is so important for the future; we need to create something not exactly the same." There were also but the same three weights in Nanjing, the first time that women had taken part in Youth Olympics boxing.

It is believed that it is ‘extremely unlikely’ that anyone will challenge Dr Wu in the forthcoming elections, but ‘watch this space’.

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