79 boxers from 40 nations set to compete for the 26 Rio 2016 quota places on offer at the last Qualification event before the Olympic Games.
The renowned Jose Maria Vargas Dome in Vargas, Venezuela, will host the final Olympic qualification tournament from 3-8 July, open to boxers from APB, WSB as well as other professional organisations following the historic change to the AIBA statute voted for at the Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne on 1 June.
As the home of the Venezuela Caciques WSB team and the location for the 2015 AMBC Continental Championships, Vargas has already firmly established itself as the national capital of boxing, and is ready to welcome athletes from 40 countries competing for the 26 Olympic quota places at the tournament. The event comes just one month before the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the first ever to be held on the South American continent.
“This is a historic moment in boxing and we are eager to complete the Rio 2016 line-up with a groundbreaking competition in Vargas, open to APB/WSB and pro boxers from all organisations for the very first time.” declared AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. “I want to express my sincere thanks to the organising committee for their excellent work in preparing the last Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the home of Venezuelan boxing where the passion for our sport is unequalled”.
The competition will see 26 Rio 2016 Quota Places available, three at every weight category except heavyweight (91kg) and super heavyweight (91+kg), from which only the winners will earn an Olympic spot.
Former world champions Hassan N’Dam (81kg) and Amnat Ruenroeng (60kg) are the highest profile boxers at the event.
“It is a great honour for Venezuela to host this crucial, indeed historic competition, and I would like to thank AIBA for having the confidence to award us the hosting of such a key event on the road to the Rio Olympic Games,” said the Venezuelan Vice-Minister of Sport, Alejandro Terán. “We are ready to ensure a first-class occasion for the boxers, their coaches, the officials and all the fans, as befits this most important Qualification Tournament, and greatly look forward to receiving pro boxers from all over the world.”