The field is set for Rio 2016 -
by Michael O'Neill
June 8, 2016
(JUNE 8) Following the 2016
AIBA Women’s World championships at the Barys Arena in Astana
last month we now know the names of the majority of boxers who
will be representing their countries in Rio in August.
After the second, and final, qualifying event for women boxers
taking place in Astana, 33 Olympians are known, and only three
remain to be determined.
The 33 known qualified women boxers are as follows in no
51kg - Nicola Adams (GBR), Zhaina Shekerbekova (KAZ), Peamwilai
Laopeam (THA), Sarah Ourahmoune (FRA), Mandy Bujold (CAN),
Ingrid Valencia (COL), Zohra Ez-Zahraoui (MAR), Cancan Ren (CHN),
Yodgoroy Mirzaeva (UZB), Tatyana Kob (UKR), and Stanimira Petrov
60kg — Estelle Mossely (FRA), Anastasia Beliakova (RUS), Katie
Taylor (IRL), Mira Potkonen (FIN), Irma Testa (ITA), Yana
Alexeyevna (AZE), Mikaela Mayer (USA), Adriana Dos Santos Araujo
(BRA), Hasnaa Lachgar (MAR), Shelley Watts (AUS), and Junhua Yin
75kg — Claressa Shields (USA), Nouchka Fontijn (NED), Nine-Chin
Chen (TPE), Savannah Marshall (GBR), Iaroslava Iakushina (RUS),
Anna Laurell Nash (SWE), Daria Shakimova (KAZ), Qian Li (CHN),
Khadija Mardi (MAR), Ariane Fortin (CAN), and Andreia Bandeira
The final boxer to complete the roster for each of the three
categories of 12 athletes are invited by the Tripartite
Commission of the International Olympic Committee. Those IOC
invitations are expected to be announced next month.
WBAN explains Tripartite Commission guidelines by IOC and AIBA
Several months ago, the IOC’s Tripartite Commission invited
specific countries to submit names to be considered for a
Tripartite Commission Invitation Place. The only countries
eligible to submit names are those who have had very few
Olympians in past Games, because one goal of the Olympic Games
is to enhance universality by encouraging the participation of
countries under-represented at the Games.
For Rio a total of 103 National Olympic Committees were invited
to submit names of athletes in any of the Olympic sports, such
as Boxing. The countries represented all participating
continents, including Africa (39), America (20), Asia (20),
Europe (9) and Oceania (15).
Each sport has a specific number of qualification spots reserved
for Tripartite Commission invitations. In Boxing there are 8 TC
spots reserved: 3 for women (one in each category) and 5 for
men. Because there are only a total of 12 women Olympic boxers
in each weight category, the TC invitation is especially
WBAN analysed the roster of the recent 2016 Women’s World
Championships, comparing that list with the list of countries
eligible for an IOC TC selection. These boxers would be eligible
for an IOC Tripartite Commission invitation:
51kg — Nadia Barrage Villarroel (BOL), Anusha Koddithuwakku
(SRI), Reem Al-Mriheel (JOR)
60kg — Valerian Spicer (DMA), Saraswati Rana (NEP), Vidusika
Mohotti (SRI), Lina Al-Fayyad (JOR)
75kg — Atheyna Bylon (PAN) and Nilanthi Andaraweera (SRI)
Based on resume, at 75kg Bylon has it cinched as she is a former
World Champion. At 60kg Spicer has been consistently improving
in top international competition. At 51kg both Villarroel and
Koddithuwakku have been active internationally for years. Any of
these boxers would seem the logical choice.
The question lingering since Astana is what about other
standout, respected, boxers who are not on the Tripartite list?
Those left out are victims of AIBA’s decision to have only 12
women boxers in each category. London medalists such as Mary Kom
(51kg, IND) and Mavzuna Chorieva (60kg, TJK) would be
competitive in Rio, as would be top competitors such as Agnes
Alexiusson (60kg, SWE), Alexis Pritchard (60kg, NZL) and Sandra
Brugger (60kg, SUI).
Virginia Fuchs (51kg, USA) and Thi Duyen Luu (60kg, VIE) have
also emerged as up-and-comers on the world stage. The talent
left out of Rio is further proof that AIBA’s Olympic system
requires IMMEDIATE revision. The world’s women boxers deserve a
full tournament of 16 boxers, in a minimum of seven weight
categories. As for Rio 2016, a 51kg without AIBA Ambassador,
Mary Kom makes no sense at all. After so many years of service
to the sport and supporting AIBA through good days and bad, that
is the very least she deserves.
AIBA promises that Tokyo 2020 will have five women’s weights,
while also suggesting that the number of women boxers in each of
those five categories could be as low as eight, to keep the
number of women boxers at or under a total of 40. This, while
the men enjoy 250 boxers in a total of 10 categories in Rio.
Despite the fact that the IOC has made clear they desire all
sports achieve 50% female participation in future Olympic Games.
Quite frankly this is a disgrace, to put it mildly. How can the
IOC allow the AIBA to ‘get away’ with this?
Should they agree with the AIBA, then the IOC by so agreeing
will simply be endorsing a morally wrong decision – after all
why do they say they want 50% female participation in one breath
then endorse an AIBA decision that would have the opposite
WBAN will watch AIBA in the coming weeks to see which athletes
will be given a Tripartite Commission invitation. For those
boxers, and their countries, their Olympic dream lives. All
other athletes can only dream of Olympic Games in Tokyo.