12 of Great Britain’s Olympic boxing hopefuls aim to secure Tokyo places at final qualification event in Paris
12 men and women from the GB Boxing squad will take part in the Road to Tokyo European Olympic qualifying event in Paris this week (4-8 June 2021).
The event will be a continuation of the Road to Tokyo European Olympic qualifier in London that was suspended after three days of competition in March 2020 owing to the Coronavirus outbreak. It will resume where the first event left-off and be based on the draw from the original event.
176 boxers from across Europe remain in the competition which is their last competitive opportunity to qualify for the Olympics. 77 places (50 male, 27 female) at Tokyo 2021 are on offer at the Paris qualifier which will be held across eight men’s weight categories and five for women.
The team from Great Britain is made-up of eight men and four women and includes Wales’ reigning world champion, Lauren Price, and three men that won medals at the 2019 world championships, Pat McCormack (sliver), Peter McGrail (bronze) and Ben Whittaker (bronze).
The full team is:
|Boxer||Weight class||Country||Qualification places available at wight class|
|Charley Davison||Flyweight (51kg)||England||6|
|Karriss Artingstall||Featherweight (57kg)||England||6|
|Caroline Dubois||Lightweight (60kg)||England||6|
|Lauren Price||Middleweight (75kg)||Wales||4|
|Galal Yafai||Flyweight (52kg)||England||8|
|Peter McGrail||Featherweight (57kg)||England||8|
|Luke McCormack||Lightweight (63kg)||England||8|
|Pat McCormack||Welterweight (69kg)||England||6|
|Ben Whittaker||Light-heavyweight (81kg)||England||6|
|Cheavon Clarke||Heavyweight (91kg)||England||4|
|Frazer Clarke||Super-heavyweight (91kg+)||England||4|
Two members of the GB Boxing team, Galal Yafai and Peter McGrail, did secure Tokyo qualification at the original event in London however the pair will still compete in Paris as performance in the qualifier will influence seeding at Tokyo 2021. Great Britain will not contest the women’s welterweight category after Rosie Eccles was defeated in her opening bout in London and eliminated from the competition.
For the other 10 members of the GB Boxing squad, the Paris tournament is the first and last competitive opportunity for the boxers to secure an Olympic place following the decision by the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) to revise the Olympic qualification pathway in light of the disruption caused by Coronavirus.
77 places at Tokyo 2021 are up for grabs in Paris. The final 13 Olympic places (8 male, 5 female) available to boxers from Europe will be allocated by a ranking system developed by the BTF.
Although boxers will secure Olympic qualification at different stages in the Paris tournament, the competition will continue through to medal stages and a final in all 13 weight classes as performance at the Boxing Road to Tokyo qualifying events will impact on seeding at Tokyo 2021.
The men and women in the Great Britain team all know who they will face in their opening bout and what they need to do secure Olympic qualification.
At flyweight, Charley Davison, is one win away from a place and Tokyo and needs to defeat Poland’s Sandra Drabik to complete a fairytale story that will see her qualify for the Olympic Games, less than two years after returning to the sport, following a seven year break in which she had three children.
Featherweight, Karriss Artingstall needs to win two bouts to qualify and will begin her campaign against Helina Bruyevich of Belarus on Friday.
At lightweight, Youth Olympic Champion, Caroline Dubois, requires two victories to secure qualification. The 20-year-old will face world number two Mira Potkonen of Finland in her opening contest.
World champion, Lauren Price, requires two wins to reach Tokyo and will start her campaign against Davina Michel of France.
In the men’s competition, Luke McCormack needs to overcome Tugrulhan Erdemir of Turkey in his first bout to be on the plane to Tokyo.
Twin brother, Pat McCormack, requires two wins to make his second Olympic Games and will box Monaco’s Hugo Micallef in his opening bout.
At middleweight, Lewis Richardson will need to overcome Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzniak to set-up a quarter-final qualification bout.
Light-heavyweight, Ben Whittaker, needs two wins to make it to Tokyo and will open with a bout against Paul Andrej Aradoaie of Romania.
Cheavon Clarke needs two wins to secure qualification and will meet Narek Manasyan of Armenia in his opening bout in the heavyweight division.
The same is true of super-heavyweight, Frazer Clarke, who needs to overcome Croatia’s Marko Milun, in his first contest to set-up a qualification bout.
Of the two qualified boxers, Galal Yafai will continue his flyweight campaign against Korynu Soghomonyan of Armenia. Featherweight, Peter McGrail, will meet Roland Galos of Hungary.
Frazer Clarke said: “I feel like I have been training for this qualifier for so long, I am just excited that it is finally here. I am looking forward to getting out there and getting the job done. I have been to two tournaments since Christmas and won gold at both so I feel good. The coaches have done a great job of preparing us and the whole team looks fantastic. The next week is huge for me and I am just going to give it everything I have got.”
Lauren Price added: “It has been a long time coming. I am excited and a bit nervous, but I am looking forward to getting the job done. My preparation has been good and I have been hitting PBs (personal best) on our runs recently so I am feeling fit and ready.
“It has been my dream to go to the Olympic Games since I was eight-years-old, so now that the opportunity has finally come round, I am going to do everything I can to make sure it happens.”
The qualifying event will be held behind closed doors with a series of COVID safety protocols in place.
The action will be streamed live on the Olympic Channel and can be viewed at https://olympics.com/en/.
Action will get underway on the afternoon of Friday 14 June 2021 (13:00 UK time). The results of all the bouts involving boxers from Great Britain will be posted on GB Boxing’s social media channels and at www.gbboxingorg,.uk.