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Path to Tokyo changes for boxers as Global Olympic Qualifier is canceled

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THE FINAL GLOBAL OLYMPIC BOXING QUALIFIER in Tokyo has been canceled. Places for Boxers at this summer’s delayed Games, due to the Pandemic, will be determined in two ways.

Firstly, by using the remaining continental qualifiers before the canceled final qualifying round. After this, the updated rankings that are issued by the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) will be used.

The final European qualifier was postponed in March 2020, during the tournament, to June.

 A World qualifier was planned to take place in Paris in June. This was canceled due to the Travel restrictions introduced by the Covid 19 pandemic and the postponement of the European qualifier. But don’t be sad you can still watch and play online games from the comfort of your home at

Major changes to schedule

Because of all these postponements and cancellations, the final global qualification leg was canceled.  The allotted qualifying places will be determined instead by the highest-ranked, nonqualified boxer from each continent in each weight division.

As far as the Irish Boxers are concerned, their rankings will be calculated in two ways. The BTF ranking points published last year in conjunction with ranking points earned during the rescheduled European qualifier this June will be used to nominate the highest-ranked European Boxers.

Because of this, the chances of several of Ireland Boxers who were hoping to compete in Tokyo changed, according to Joe O. O’Neil, a journalist with Irish

O’Neil speculates that Kerrie Harrington, the former 60kg world champion and 57 kg European champion Kurt Walker won’t be allowed to compete. This seems very unlikely if you take the facts into consideration.

From London to Tokyo

Kurt Walker lost his opening fight in London last March before the mid-tournament, postponement of the European qualifier. He would have, therefore anyway, relied on the world qualifiers during normal circumstances for a place to compete in the Olympics’.

Walker is, however, ranked number 2 in Europe and apparently, by default, allowed to compete. He cannot be overtaken as the highest-ranking non-qualifier. This won’t be possible even after the ranking points are added obtained during the rescheduled European qualifiers in June.

A win for Harrington in her opening fight in June will ensure her place to compete in the Olympics’ in Tokyo. This she can be sure of even if she lost her last fight against Poland. The closest competitor after her is from Sweden, and she can therefore forget to take away Harrington’s first Olympics’.  

If Harrington is successful in going to Tokyo, the number of Irish Boxers that will compete in Tokyo will be three. 

Not all hope is lost for Irish boxers

Irish speculates that Michaela Walch, Aoife O’Rourke, Michael Nevin, Aidan Walsh, Emmet Brennan, George Bates, and Kirill Avanasef might compete in the Tokyo Olympics’ as well. That is according to their own calculations ahead of the European qualifying tournament in June.

The Boxer Dean Gardner recently announced his retirement from boxing but can still qualify through the rescheduled tournament if he wants to continue his boxing career. 

Christina Desmond, the Irish Welterweight champion, has been eliminated from the European qualifiers last March. Although Desmond is ranked 7th in Europe, the points gained by the eight quarter-finalists at the qualifier in June will push her out of her qualification spot. In ordinary circumstances, without a Pandemic at hand,  she would have been able to come into consideration after the World tournament that is now not taking place.

The spokeswoman, Mayumi Imaeda of the Japan Boxing Federation has told AFP on Tuesday that the Federation have been told about the cancellation of the World qualifier in Paris. According to her, it was done in the interest of athlete equality. Athletes will be able to travel to Paris from certain countries while other countries are not allowed to travel that is unfair, according to her.

She continued saying the following: “The athletes have to come first, and they have to be safe and secure. It also has to be open and honest. The athletes have to be treated equally.”

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