Nine further places are up for grabs – six for men and three for women – for Irish boxing at the final four Olympic qualifiers between April and June.
The first port of call for Europe is the Black Sea city of Samsun, Turkey in April. The tournament will yield 30 places for men and 6 for women, with the top three in each weight class qualifying for men and the top two (the finalists) for women.
The finalists (top two) in Samsun automatically qualify for Rio 2016 for men, but whether the semi-finalist that loses to the eventual gold medallist makes up the top three or the two losing semi-finalists box-off has yet to be confirmed, although a precedent was set at the World Elite Men’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Qatar last year when the losing semi-finalists met in box-offs to complete the top three for Rio.
The World Series of Boxing (WSB) versus AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) qualifiers in Sofia, Bulgaria in May will see the top three from light-fly to light-heavy qualifying. Heavyweights and super-heavyweight have drawn the short straw as they must win gold (top one).
A top-four – must reach the semi-finals and win at least bronze – finish will suffice for women in the three Olympic weight classes of flyweight, lightweight and middleweight at the World Elites in Astana, Kazakhstan in May.
The final (World) Olympic qualifier (for men) is offering a surprisingly, given the above, generous yield from flyweight to light-heavy. A top five finish will suffice in these weights, but heavyweight and super-heavyweights must win once again win gold.
(Whether the quarter-finalist that loses to the eventual gold medallist qualifies or the quarter-finalists that lose to the eventual finalists box-off to make up the top five in the applicable weights has yet to be confirmed)
As things stand for Irish male boxing, the light-fly, bantam, welter and light-heavy classes are of academic interest, as Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward have booked tickets for Rio in these weights.
But, beginning in Turkey in April, it’s all to play for for Ireland’s Elites in the nine other weight classes.
Two hundred and eighty six boxers – 250 men and 36 women – compete at each Olympics. Six of those places go to the host nation and another eight to the Tripartite Commission (invitation places).
Likewise, 272 places – 240 for men and 32 for women – are available through the competitive qualification process. Sixty of those place have already been taken via last year’s AOB, WSB and APB competitions.
Irish boxers qualified for Rio 2016 so far
49kg – light-flyweight – Paddy Barnes (Holy Family)
52kg – flyweight?
56kg – bantamweight – Michael Conlan (Clonard)
60kg – lightweight?
64kg – light welterweight?
69kg – welterweight – Steven Donnelly (All Saints)
75kg – middleweight?
81kg – light-heavyweight – Joe Ward (APB)
91kg – heavyweight?
91+kg – super- heavyweight?
51kg – flyweight?
60kg – lightweight?
75 kg – middleweight?
European Olympic qualifiers Samsun, Turkey April 7th/18th
Men – Top 3
Women – Top 2
WSB v APB, Olympic qualifiers Sofia, Bulgaria May 13th/22nd
Top 3 in eight weights from light-fly to light-heavy. Top 1 (gold) for heavyweights and super-heavyweights.
World Elite Women’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers Astana, Kazakhstan May 19th/27th
Top 4 in three Olympic weight classes of flyweight, lightweight and middleweight
Final World AOB Olympic qualifiers (for Men) Baku, Azerbaijan June 7th/19th
Top 2 (light-fly). Top five from fly to light-heavy. Top 1 (gold) for heavyweights and super-heavyweights
Rio 2016 Olympic Games August 5th/21st