Boxing Road to Tokyo Americas qualifier in Buenos Aires cancelled, qualification pathway restructured

The IOC Boxing Task Force announce the cancellation of the event for boxers aiming to book spots at the Tokyo 2020 Games, and restructuring of qualification pathway for the Americas region.

By James Pratt

The Olympic boxing qualification tournaments for athletes from the Americas for the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021 has been cancelled by the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF), due to restrictions following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event had been due to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 10th to 16th May 2021.

The decision was announced on Thursday (15th April), with the BTF stating: "In recent weeks, tighter travel restrictions and lockdowns have been implemented across the region, which have significantly disrupted international travel and pose logistical challenges to teams travelling to and from Buenos Aires, jeopardising their ability to participate in the event."

"Given the nature of the event as an Olympic qualifier which will award a large number of direct quota places (49) for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, ensuring fair access and a safe environment for all athletes and officials is of the greatest importance.

"Unfortunately, the current situation in the region does not provide the assurances needed for these principles to be followed at the event scheduled in Buenos Aires.

For this reason, after a thorough assessment and consultations with teams, the BTF’s Athlete Ambassadors and boxing experts plus the Local Organising Committee, the BTF has decided to cancel the event and restructure the Tokyo 2020 qualification pathway for the Americas region."

New pathway for boxers from the Americas region

Following the cancellation, the BTF announced that all 49 quota placed (22 for men, 16 for women), would remain exclusive to athletes who had been registered for the Buenos Aires event, and that they would be re-allocated via the BWF rankings.

The full criteria can be found here.

Tokyo 2020 boxing qualification

The updated version of the Qualification system for the Tokyo Games will be published once approved by the IOC Executive Board, expected by 7th May.

Last year, the International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) assumed control of the five continental qualification tournaments in the run up to the Games.

The Asia-Oceania, Africa, and a portion of the Europe events were completed before the final three tournaments were postponed.

The European qualifier is set to resume in Paris from 4-8 June.

Completed events

Coronavirus initially also caused the postponement of the Asia and Oceania qualifier which was originally scheduled for Wuhan, the hub of the initial coronavirus outbreak, in early February.

That event was subsequently switched to Jordan and took place in the capital city, Amman, where 63 boxers qualified for Tokyo 2020. You can read the full review here.

A further 33 African boxers booked their tickets to the Games through events in Dakar, Senegal, and you can read further details about that here.