January 23, 2020
By Sahr Morris Jnr
The Sierra Leone Boxing Association are gearing up for the continental 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal from 20-29, February 2020 as they seek a place for the Tokyo games, Japan.
Like other African nations already in high preparation for the Africa qualifiers, the Sierra Boxers are also undergoing intensive preparation and are hoping to leave the country’s shores with a maximum of four boxers- two female and two male.
According to the Association’s Secretary General, Alhaji Komba, all works and documentation to ensure their successful participation at the tournament in Senegal are almost completed, but cited financial challenge as the only obstacle.
“We’ve completed the registration of our boxers for the Africa qualifiers with other necessary undertakings.Our biggest challenge is funding, but before the tournament, we are hoping things will be ok for us,” Komba said.
Meanwhile, following the International Olympic Committee’s decision to suspend the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the Olympic Boxing Task Force was created to deliver the sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The decision was based on the recommendations of the IOC’s Inquiry Committee in November 2018, over concerns about AIBA in the areas of finance, governance, ethics, and refereeing and judging.
The Olympic Boxing Task Force also came up with a new qualifying system for the Games with five qualifying tournaments deciding who will go to Tokyo.
As part of the IOC’s commitment to boost gender equality while maintaining the quality of female boxing, the Games in Japan will feature 186 men and 100 women (compared to 250 men and 36 women in Rio) with the number of women’s weight classes rising from three to five.
Six places (four men and two women) were reserved for the host nation Japan, while eight further places (five men and three women) were allocated to the Tripartite Invitation Commission.