The International Boxing Association (AIBA) today confirmed the change of dates and host city for April’s European Olympic qualifiers for men in women.
The qualiers, which were originally slated to begin on April 20th in Istanbul, Turkey, will now begin on April 7th in Samsun, Turkey.
The upcoming tournament marks the second successive occasion that Turkey has hosted a crucial European Olympic qualifier.
AIBA said that the change of dates and venues was for the best interest of boxers, particularly female boxers competing in the World Elite Women’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Kazakhstan in May and who would have had a very short turn around if the European qualifiers began on April 21st.
The World Series of Boxing versus AIBA Pro Boxing Olympic qualification tournament will also be held in May.
Meantime, thirty places will be up for grabs for men – three berths per weight class – and six for women – two berths per weight class – in Samsun.
Likewise, women competing in the three Olympic weights classes of fly, light and middle, will have to finish in the top two (reach their finals) to book tickets for Rio 2016.
Men have to finish in the top three, with the finalists automatically going through to the 31st Olympiad with one other boxer. Traditionally, the third boxer in a top three scenario was the semi-finalists that lost to the eventual gold medallist.
However, at the World Elite Men’s Championships in Qatar last year, AIBA ordered a box-off between the losing semi-finalists in the weight classes where a top three finish was required to qualify for Rio 2016.
The top three criterion for Samsun has yet to be confirmed.