India’s tally of 9 boxers is unlikely to increase as the IOC (International Olympic Association) scraped the world qualifiers citing ‘challenges’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But, Indian Boxing’s high-performance director is still hopeful that India will get a few more entries to the mega-event.
With three Indians making a cut to the 2016 Rio Olympics, it was expected that the contingent will increase by the Tokyo Games gets underway. As many as nine puglists managed to book tickets for the postponed 2021 edition. But, as per the recent reports, the number is not going to increase further because the IOC (International Olympic Association) has scraped the world qualifiers citing ‘challenges’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The remaining slots will be filled up equally from all continents based on rankings, while the performances of the last four years will also be taken into account.
"The 53 quota places (32 men and 21 women) planned to be allocated at the final World Olympic Qualifier will now be allocated equally across the four regions (Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe) and all the weight categories," stated the IOC’s Boxing Task Force.
Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Satish Kumar (+91kg), M C Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) have all qualified for the mega event at last year’s Asian qualifier, following which the Covid-19 pandemic stalled all sporting activities.
The remaining quotas which were up for grabs from India’s standpoint are the men’s 57kg, 81 kg, 91 kg and women’s 57kg category respectively. With no Indian’s having high rankings in the above-mentioned events, there is a slim chance of anyone making the cut. However, Indian boxing's High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva is hopeful of a few more entries.
"Obviously, there is a disappointment but we are still hopeful. We will wait for what the IOC comes up with. I am really glad that we had a good Asian qualifier, it is a body blow for those who didn't," said Santiago Nieva.