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2016 AIBA Women's World & Olympic qualifiers just 100 days away
by Michael O'Neill
February 10, 2016

(FEB 10)  With but 100 days now before the opening ceremony, boxers around the world are continuing their preparations for the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships being held at the Barys Arena in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

Barys Arena, Astana,Kazakhstan (photo AIBA)

The event takes place 19th to 27th May as we reported here previously and included are ten weights as usual which include the three Olympic weights and thus the tournament will provide twelve quota places for women in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in early August.

“The 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships are set to light up Astana, a beautiful city with vast experience of hosting major sporting events, in particular a successful 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty ”, said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “This will be a true showcase of the incredible skill, power and elegance of our sport, determining not only the best women boxers in the world across ten weight categories, but also the first 12 qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

Boxing in Kazakhstan is enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to grassroots investment and the rapid growth of the women’s sport. The President of the tournament’s Local Organising Committee Bolat Abdrakhmanov is in no doubt that the AIBA Women’s World Championships will be one of the most memorable events on the sporting calendar this year.

“Women’s boxing is becoming more and more popular every year and its introduction during the London 2012 Olympic Games was hugely important for the sport. People love boxing in Kazakhstan, so it will be great for them to be able to witness its stars compete and gives another reason for more women in our country to get involved in this great sport”, said Bolat Abdrakhmanov.

Ireland’s Katie Taylor will be defending the lightweight title she won two years ago in Jeju, Korea, while Nicola Adams will be hoping to get her Olympic preparations off to the ideal start having missed out in 2014 with a shoulder injury.

“I’m hungry for a shot at the World Championship title in Astana but I know that it’s going to be tough against such a strong field”, said Britain’s Olympic flyweight champion Adams. “Women’s boxing deserves events of this scale and the team can’t wait to get going – this year is going to provide the perfect showcase for our sport and we are ready to show what we can do.”

Taylor meantime has been preparing for the forthcoming events by sparring with Russian and Dutch teams as well as with Irish male and female colleagues at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown and later this month ‘gloves off’ in exhibition bouts before sell-out crowds in Kanturk (vs Sweden’s Jelena Jelic) and in Tralee (vs Queen Underwood in the final bout of the latter’s ‘Amateur’ career).

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