Irish women’s boxing will be aiming to have as many Olympic places as possible – three is the maximum on offer – secured at the European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey this month before May’s World Women’s Championships in Kazakhstan.
The tournament, which begins on May 19 in the Kazkh capital Astana, is also an Olympic qualifier.
The 9th edition of the Championships since the first Women’s Worlds in the USA in 2001 is the final opportunity for women to make Rio 2016.
A top four finish is required (reach the semi-finals) in Central Asia to book at ticket for the 31st Olympiad.
Katie Taylor will be aiming to win an historic sixth successive lightweight title in Astana. If she does go all the way again, she, along with all the other champions, will receive a medal covered in an alloy containing real gold and weighing approximately 110 grams.
Sticking with a policy of naming fluffy animals with long ears – boxing fans will recall the Desert Fox mascot at the Men’s World Championships in Qatar last year –, organisers have unveiled a Squirrel as the official mascot for Astana 2016.
Pictured below, Maya, the “southpaw” Squirrel, is described as the friendly and sparkling face of the Championships.
The 50-day countdown to the start of the 2016 AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships began yesterday.
Irish women’s boxing has competed in every World Women’s Elite Championships since the third edition of the tournament in Russia 2005.