The world’s top nations are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for this month’s 9th AIBA World Women’s Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The tournament has a double significance as it’s also an Olympic qualifier for Rio 2016, marking the second time the Championships has been used as a qualifier.
The top four in each of the three Olympic weights for women – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – qualify in Astana and also guarantee themselves at least bronze.
Katie Taylor will be aiming to become the first woman in the history of the sport to win six successive titles in Central Asia.
The Olympic champion is currently training and sparring with Russia’s London 2012 silver medallist Sofya Ochigava at the Irish Institute of Sport in Abbotstown, Dublin where the Irish men’s team have begun a training camp with India, Kazakhstan, Great Britain and Germany.
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan currently lad the way with eleven boxers each through to Rio.
The Irish women’s Elite squad are currently in Sheffield in training camp at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Kazakhstan represents the last opportunity for women to qualify for Rio. Following the completion of the Championships at the 12,000 capacity Barys Arena, 11 of the 12 boxers in each of the three weights will have booked tickets for the 31st Olympiad. The final three places per weight will be distributed through the Tripartite Commission (invitation places).
Boxing begins on May 19 in Astana.