The Spanish Olympic boxing team will resume in the Paris European Pre-Olympic, from June 4 to 11, the qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games with the already confirmed places of Gabriel Escobar (-52 kilos) and Jose Quiles (-57 kilos), so the goal is to get at least one more since since Barcelona’92, with five guests and two qualifiers, no more than two representatives have attended an Olympic event.
The tournament originally began in London but the global expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the competition to be temporarily suspended on March 16, 2020. More than a year later it will resume where it left off, with the same competitors and tables, since only the tournament venue has been changed.
Of course, along the way the world play-off has been left in which Spain had hopes of even surpassing the seven participants from Barcelona.
Following the decision taken by the Task Force, belonging to the COI, who organizes boxing due to the exceptional situation of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), these places are awarded according to a classification based on international competitions during the last four years that means that there are no Spanish representatives among the winners.
With Gabriel Escobar, European gold breaking a 48-year drought and aiming to do well to be seeded in the Olympic draw, and Jose Quiles, who did not travel to France with the Spanish expedition due to not being physically at 100%, Spain has three boxers and a female boxer who will resume their dream of being in Tokyo this Friday.
Miguel Cuadrado (-75 kilos), Gazi khalidov (-81 kilos), Enmanuel Reyes Pla (-91 kilos) and Melissa tudge (-60 kilos) must win two matches to get a passport to the Olympics. They will have two chances since there will be a play-off for the fighters who win the first and fall in the quarterfinals. The positions of the fifth to the eighth and fifth and sixth will go to Japan.
If Melissa she succeeds, she will be the first representative in the female category in the entire history of Spanish Olympic boxing.
“I arrive quite strong. The postponement has been good for me to gain more experience and go with even more desire. It is a great responsibility to be alone for the Pre-Olympic and I am facing something very important for me and for Spanish women’s boxing, “the fighter told . before traveling to Paris.
“The team is formidable. Very happy with the work they have done during this time and I think that we are going to make history because the four of them are going to qualify ”, the president of the Spanish Boxing Federation was so resounding, Felipe Martinez.
“I have that confidence, the coach and they too. They go for all of them. We have two qualifiers, which gives us some peace of mind, but we want to improve ourselves and it would be historic. Since Barcelona ’92 we have not had such a competitive team ”, he added.
A confidence based on the quality of the three boxers and the boxer who will represent Spain and on having been able to develop competitions, facing foreign federations, during the pandemic.
“Thanks to the efforts of the Higher Sports Council, the Spanish Olympic Committee and all the entities that surround the work of all sports, we have been able to train quite well. We are one of the countries that has had the most activity and we have been able to carry out the most work; which helps us when it comes to reaching a qualifier in the best possible way ”, he commented.
Six potential places that could have been more if the world play-off had not been suspended due to the coronavirus: “The truth is, but you have to see the positive side and that is that the Olympic Games are going to be played. They are excited. Yes it is true that some deserved to be in that second qualifier and had quite clear options to qualify, but it is what it is and they have understood it. They have taken it with enthusiasm and are already working to be in Paris 2024, “he said.
Furthermore, he was enthusiastic about the possibility that Melissa tudge become the first representative of Spain in the female category.
“Much illusion with that square. Canceling one of the qualifiers has reduced our chances, but we have one left and he has a good quadrant and a lot of confidence and enthusiasm with this fight. It would be historic and a boost that Iberdrola has helped us to develop women’s boxing, ”he said. Felipe Martinez.
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