Canadian Boxers Look To Punch Ticket To Paris Olympics At Bangkok Qualifier | CBC Sports


Bantamweight Scarlett Delgado leads a team of nine Canadian boxers trying to fight their way into this summer’s Paris Olympic field at a last-ditch world qualification tournament in Bangkok.

Athletes will need to crack top 4 to secure berth for France this summerNeil Davidson · The Canadian Press

· Posted: May 22, 2024 1:32 PM EDT | Last Updated: 9 hours ago

Canada’s Scarlett Delgado, left, is seen as a leading contender in the 54-kilogram weight class at an Olympic boxing qualification tournament that runs Friday through June 3 in Bangkok. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters/File)Bantamweight Scarlett Delgado leads a team of nine Canadian boxers trying to fight their way into this summer’s Paris Olympic field at a last-ditch world qualification tournament in Bangkok.

Canada has already qualified two boxers for Paris, which features 13 weight classes – seven for men and six for women.

Middleweight Tammara Thibeault (75 kilograms) and welterweight Wyatt Sanford (63.5 kg) secured their Olympic berths via gold-medal performances at year’s Pan American Games. Both were members of Canada’s five-boxer team for the Tokyo Olympics.

The Bangkok qualifier, which starts Friday and runs through June 3 at the Indoor Stadium Huamark, will determine the final 51 quota places (23 for women and 28 for men) for the Paris Games.

The number of Olympic boxing divisions for men has gone down by one while the women’s competition has added one since Tokyo. But there will parity in total numbers of athletes with 124 men and 124 women.

Olympic boxing qualification comes in the form of several steps.

WATCH | Thibeault wins way to Paris Olympics:

Thibeault’s Pan Am Games semifinal victory secures Olympic boxing berth next summerShawinigan, Que., native Tammara Thibeault defeated Mexico’s Citlalli Ortiz through a unanimous points decision (5-0) in the 75-kilogram semifinals at the Pan Am Games.

The first were five continental qualifiers, with the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, covering the Americas. A first World Qualification Tournament was then held in Busto Arzizio, Italy, from Feb. 29 to March 12.

Competitors essentially had to finish in the top four in Italy to secure Olympic qualification, although that figure varied in some weight classes. Canada had two athletes finish in the top eight — Delgado and super-heavyweight Alexis Barriere, who subsequently opted to focus on a pro career.

Over 75 countries in 2021 Olympic boxingJust making the Olympic field is an accomplishment, given the sport’s popularity around the world and the fact each country can have no more than one competitor in a weight class. More than 75 countries took part in boxing at the Tokyo Games.

Competitors will again need to crack the top four in Bangkok to punch their ticket to Paris. That measuring stick can change, however, given host France is guaranteed a maximum of six quota places (three for women and three for men) so can claim a spot in a weight class even if it doesn’t qualify a fighter.

That means some weight classes may require a top-three finish for Olympic qualification. It could also become top five if an already qualified competitor is injured or suspended.

Christopher Lindsay, Boxing Canada’s executive director, says Canada would be “very happy” to qualify one or two more boxers.

WATCH l Sanford qualifies for Paris with Pan Am Games semifinal win:

Sanford earns Olympic boxing berth with Pan Am Games semifinal winThe Kennetcook, N.S. native defeated Brazil’s Yuri Falcao Dos Reis by unanimous points decision (5-0) in the 63.5-kilogram semifinals at the Pan Am Games.

Delgado, a 28-year-old from Brampton, Ont., is seen as a leading contender in the 54-kilogram weight class. She was top-eight at the last qualifier, with the top four removed from the equation this time because they have already secured their place in Paris.

“Her ability to perform in high-pressure situations is something that we have come to rely on in the past and has gone well for her,” said Lindsay.

Delgado, who competed in freestyle wrestling before boxing, has unique style that can be difficult for opponents to decipher, he added.

But logic sometimes goes out the window depending on the draw.

Canadian hopefuls in 2-week campA good number of the Canadian boxers in Bangkok are probably aiming more at the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

There will be no title bouts at the qualifying tournament, with action in each weight class coming to a half when the final Olympic berths are determined.

The current crop of Canadian Olympic hopefuls has been in camp in Bangkok since May 8 preparing for the qualifier.

Thibeault and Sanford were also at the camp but have returned home, with fellow fighter Keoma-Ali Al-Ahmadieh and coach Vincent Auclair, to continue their preparations. Al-Ahmadieh is a younger fighter who is in the same weight class as Sanford and serving as a training partner.

Samir El Mais is head coach of the Canadian team in Bangkok. A heavyweight gold medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, El Mais cornered Thibeault at the Tokyo Olympics, where she finished fifth, and at the 2022 World Championships, where she won gold.

Canada has won 17 Olympic boxing medals (three gold, seven silver and seven bronze), but none since 1996 when heavyweight David Defiagbon won silver in Atlanta.

Other Canadian Olympic medallists include super-heavyweight Lennox Lewis (gold in 1998, Seoul) and light-middleweight Sean O’Sullivan and heavyweight Willie deWit (both silver in 1984, Los Angeles).

Bantamweight Horace (Lefty) Gwynne (1932, Los Angeles) and welterweight Albert Schneider (1920, Antwerp) were the other Olympic champions.

The Paris boxing competition runs July 27 to Aug. 1 in the North Paris Arena and Roland-Garros Stadium.

The Olympic qualifying events were organized under the authority of the Paris 2024 Boxing Unit (PBU), an ad-hoc group created by the International Olympic Committee’s executive board. The PBU was tasked with overseeing qualifying and running the boxing competition at the games following the IOC’s suspension and the subsequent withdrawal of recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA).

Canada roster for BangkokWomen

Mckenzie Wright (50 kg), Scarlett Delgado (54), Marie Al-Ahmadieh (57), Terris Smith (60), Sara Kali (66).


Victor Tremblay (57 kg), Junior Petanqui (71), Keven Beausejour (80), Doni Foreman (92-plus).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *