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2016 AIBA Women's World Championships Astana 19th/27th May
by Michael O'Neill
April 9, 2016
     
   
   

(APR 9) As we previously informed you here on WBAN, the AIBA in their wisdom postponed the 2016 Women’s World Championships which were due to take place February 1st to 14th until the new dates 19th to 27th May.

The event was to have delivered the first 12 quota places for women for the Rio Games , but an International Boxing Association (AIBA) spokesperson admitted in November that it would have to be delayed by three months so that organisers had more time to get ready.

"The 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships are set to light up Astana, a beautiful city with vast experience of hosting major sporting events," said AIBA President C K Wu.

"This will be a true showcase of the incredible skill, power and elegance of our sport, determining not only the best women boxers in the world across 10 weight categories, but also the first 12 qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

Since female boxers from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania have already qualified for Rio as will the Europeans after Samsun it now becomes the last 12 to qualify in competitive action plus one per weight from the Tripartite places scheme for ‘weaker countries’

In addition the lengthy delay – to give more time to the Kazakh authorities to get ready - seriously inconveniences the European contenders for Rio as they will have little time to recover from any significant injuries sustained in Samsun this month. That tournament had already been delayed previously and also suffered a change of venue.

The President of the World tournament’s Local Organising Committee, remains quietly confident that AIBA Women’s World Championships will be one of the highlights of the country’s sporting year.

"Women’s boxing is becoming more and more popular every year and its introduction during the London 2012 Olympic Games was hugely important for the sport," he proclaimed.

"People love boxing in Kazakhstan, so it will be great for them to be able to witness its stars compete and gives another reason for more women in our country to get involved in this great sport."

A flurry of activity marked the 50-day countdown to championships with the Kazakh designed medals, the official mascot Maya and the Championship dedicated website all launched in Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana.

With a design mimicking ancient Kazakh zoomorphic patterns, the unique gold, silver and bronze medals represent Scythian art, a decoration traditionally used to deliver power, good luck and protection to the wearer.

Each medal weighs about 110 grams. A disc with of 8 cm in diameter and 4 mm thick is decorated with curly through slots. The medals intended for Gold medallists are covered with an alloy in which contains real gold.

The design of the awards used traditional Kazakh zoomorphic patterns. In ancient times the things decorated with similar ornaments were used as a mascot that would bring strength and good luck to its owner.

They were revealed to the fans by the bronze medallist of the 2012 Olympic Marina Volnova and a member of the national women's boxing team, Dina Zholaman, the six-time champion of Kazakhstan.

“I believe our girls will be successful”, said Marina Volnova, the Ambassador for these Championships. “Everyone has got a chance. Of course, much depends on the draw. But, I think, whoever they may chance to fight with, everything will be fine and they will win prizes".

The event takes place in the Barys Arena complex where around 294 sportswomen from 67 countries are expected to participate, according to Kazakh and AIBA sources.

In late news the AIBA has given India until 14 May to from a new national federation ( Boxing India was banned more than a year ago), according to NDTV online sources.

Mary Kom and Sarita Devi Laishram will be hoping to qualify via these Worlds in Astana but even if they do qualify there is ‘no guarantee’ they’ll be allowed to compete in Rio.

NDTV reports that :’the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has given India time till May 14 to put together a new federation, failing which the country's boxers could be barred from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A meeting last week broke up without any conclusion hence the 14 May deadline. The NDTV source is unsure that it will have a successful outcome commenting that ‘this meeting today should have been enough to finalise the dates of election because there is very little time at hand. There was no need to postpone things for another meeting on April 16. I am not too optimistic about things even now," said a state association official.

Others though are more optimistic such as the Sports Authority of India : "We certainly want our boxers to compete in the Olympics and that too under the India flag. So in the next meeting, the constitution would be finalised along with the date election," the SAI-appointed coordination committee head Asit Banerjee forecast.

WBAN’s own sources however believe that any Indian boxers who do qualify for Rio will be allowed to compete albeit under the AIBA banner rather than the Indian Flag. If say Mary Kom does qualify for Rio (via Astana) and no Indian boxer is allowed to compete that would mean that Mary would NOT have an opportunity of retiring on a high note with a second Olympic medal.

What a tragedy that would be for one of the sport’s greatest ever servants and an AIBA Ambassador at that. One who has even before Astana already won five World titles. Unthinkable!

 

 
     
     
   
 
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