First of Nine Continental Olympic Qualifying Events Start This Week
The capital city of Algeria, Algiers is the host of 107 boxers from 25 countries at the 1st Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament starting on Wednesday, while Bangkok, Thailand is the venue for the 1st Asia Olympic Qualifying Tournament starting on Friday where 141 boxers from 28 countries will participate.
Of the total 284 Olympic qualifying spots on offer Africa is contesting 60 vacancies while Asia's numbers 53. However, following the opening qualifying event at the AIBA World Championships Chicago 2007 in October last year where 80 boxers from 37 countries qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Africa's number of qualifying spots has reduced to 58 following the qualification of Egypt's Ramadan Yasser and Said Rachidi from Morocco in the Light Heavyweight and Middleweight divisions respectively. Asia meanwhile has 38 qualifying spots up for grabs after 24 boxers qualified in Chicago.
The revised number of continental vacancies is split evenly between two tournaments with Windhoek, Namibia hosting the second African qualifying event from March 22-31 while the second Asia Olympic qualifying event will take place from March 15-25 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Egypt, Morocco Algeria, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana are the favourites for the African qualifying events while Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India, Thailand, Korea and the Philippines are the front runners in Asia.
Full Olympic qualifying calendar
Jan. 22 - 31 1st Africa Qualifying Algiers, Algeria
Jan. 24 - Feb. 3 1st Asia Qualifying Bangkok, Thailand
Feb. 24 - Mar. 3 1st Europe Qualifying Pescara, Italy
Mar. 10 - Mar. 18 1st America Qualifying Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Mar. 15 - 25 2nd Asia Qualifying Astana, Kazakhstan
Mar. 22 - 31 2nd Africa Qualifying Windhoek, Namibia
Mar.TBD Oceania Qualifying TBD
Apr. 7 - 14 2nd Europe Qualifying Athens, Greece
Apr. 23 - 30 2nd America Qualifying Guatemala City, Guatemala
About the International Boxing Association
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) is a non-profit making international organization, which was founded under the name Fédération Internationale de Boxe Amateur (FIBA) in 1920. In 1946 a new start was given with the launch of AIBA to replace the dissolved FIBA and now, more than 60 years later, AIBA, with its 195 member federations, continues to govern the sport of Boxing, working for the benefit of the sport and all its participants, to help Boxing realise its potential within the Olympic Movement and the international sporting arena. For more information please visit http://www.aiba.org/
For more information please contact the AIBA Communications Department. Telephone +41 21 321 27 77 or Richard Baker, AIBA PR and Communications Manager in Algiers on mobile +41 79 316 56 09