After a delay of 445 days, the European Olympic boxing qualifying tournament recommences in Paris on Friday as the Road to Tokyo gets underway again. Five days of competition are to take place, finishing on Tuesday June 8.
How did we get here?
This tournament began at the Copper Box in London in March last year and three days of competition were completed before the growing pandemic forced the event to be suspended. With questions over the ability of participants to travel to London, the tournament was moved to Paris. All results from London stand, so the tournament will restart on Day 4.
The event will take place at the Grand Dome in Villebon-sur-Yvette about 35km south of the centre of Paris. The venue, which was built in 1994, was originally scheduled to host the “world” qualifier, for all boxers who failed to book a place in Tokyo via the continental qualifiers.
The Grand Dome is owned by the French Federation of Judo, Jujitsu, Kendo and Associated Disciplines (FFJDA).
How many places for Tokyo are available in Paris?
A total of 77 places are up for grabs at the European qualifiers – 50 for men and 27 for women. There are eight divisions for men and five for women.
In the men’s divisions, there are eight places available at flyweight, featherweight and lightweight, meaning boxers must reach the quarter-finals to book a place in Tokyo. At welterweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight, there are six places, meaning that as well as the four semi-finalists, the losing quarter-finalists will box-off for a place. At heavyweight and super-heavyweight, there are only four places, so a boxer must reach the semi-finals to qualify.
In the women’s divisions, there are six places available at flyweight, featherweight and lightweight, and four places available at middleweight. At welterweight there are five places up for grabs.
The eight available qualifying spots have already been settled in the men’s flyweight and featherweight divisions. However, the tournament in those divisions will continue, as there are ranking points up for grabs, with those points being used to decide seeding in the draw in Tokyo.
Can countries pick a replacement?
Yes, but only if the original athlete had not yet boxed in the tournament or was not a seed.
Are spectators allowed?
No. Only those with official accreditation will be allowed in the grandstands to watch the action.
How many sessions will there be?
There will be two sessions each day beginning at 2pm and 6pm (both CET). On the first four days the action will take place in two rings simultaneously, with only one ring for the finals on June 8.
With there be victory ceremonies?
Yes. But the medal winners will not be allowed to shake hands with the other athletes or the medal presenter.
What happened to the other qualifying tournaments?
The African and Asia/Oceania qualifying tournaments were completed. The Americas tournament, which was due to be in Buenos Aires, was cancelled. All the quota places the were available there will now be distributed based on the boxers’ position in the BTF (Boxing Task Force) rankings.
The 'world' qualifying event was also cancelled. The 53 quota places that would have been available at the event will be allocated evenly across the four regions and the divisions according to their places in the BTF rankings. So, the highest ranked boxer from each region in each division who has not already qualified will get a place in Tokyo.