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  • Boxing Chief Talks Rio Concerns, Nanjing YOG


    C.K. Wu talked to Around the Rings about concerns around the Rio 2016 Olympics and boxing at the Nanjing Youth Olympics.

    C.K. Wu (Getty Images)
    The International Boxing Association president is among leaders of the 28 summer Olympic federations worried about the impact of Rio construction delays on their venues and sport presentation at the Games.

    ASOIF members made their feelings clear at a joint meeting of the IOC and federations on the sidelines of SportAccord in Antalya.

    “Everybody in the Olympic Movement is concerned,” said the 67-year-old IOC Executive Board member who sits on the coordination commission for Rio 2016.

    “We want to see progress,” he said, noting that 17 of the 28 sports leaders had “fully expressed” their concerns during the joint meeting.

    “We are running out of time now. Time is getting shorter and shorter, and we need time to implement preparation work,” he added.

    His comments came as IOC Olympic Games executive director Gilbert Felli prepares to head to Rio for top-level meetings with government officials and 2016 organizers to help solve a series of problems.

    Youth Innovations and Nanjing 2014

    As the AIBA Youth World Championships in Sofia draw to a close, Wu was keen to point out how the competition has grown in prestige and importance for the federation. He also highlighted another boxing innovation.

    The Sofia championships serve as the sole qualifying event for the Nanjing YOG for men and women boxers. It’s also the first AIBA championships to use a box-off system.

    The success of women's boxing at London 2012 is spurring growth in the sport worldwide. (Getty Images)
    Wu said the competition level was “very high” in Sofia, where around 780 boxers from 105 countries are competing for berths at the YOG. A total of 78 men and women will qualify from 13 categories. If boxers lose in the quarter-finals, they have the opportunity to box off for places at Nanjing.

    He said the box-off system was welcomed by all national federations: “It’s fair to all boxers.”

    AIBA’s new 10-point scoring system introduced last year is also making its debut in Sofia and will do so in Nanjing. Each bout is scored by five ringside judges with a computer randomly selecting three of them to avoid any manipulation.

    Wu is happy with the way the system is being accepted across AIBA competitions. He said there was not a single protest in more than 700 bouts staged at the youth championships.

    Women will box for the first time at a YOG, a development Wu is very proud of. He hailed the success of women’s boxing at the London 2012 Olympics.

    “Women’s boxing suddenly has become very popular and many countries have started to develop. That is very important.”

    Wu further underlined the benefit of women’s boxing joining the YOG, saying that it provided a good platform for Rio 2016 and to nurture the stars of the future.

    World Series of Boxing

    The AIBA chief said the announcement on the World Series of Boxing finals location will be made after the semi-finals, probably after the second leg on May 2.

    Baku, Moscow, and London are in the running to host the finals scheduled for May 30-31.

    Wu said the plan was to wait for the outcome of the semi-finals, with the host venue decision based on the nations competing for the titles. London would be the neutral choice as there is no British team in the finals.

    2019 Asian Games Issues

    Incheon will host this year's Asian Games. (Getty Images)
    Following Vietnam’s decision to withraw from hosting the 2019 Asian Games in Hanoi due to lack of preparedness and financial issues, Wu suggested the competition might be getting too big for its own good.

    Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, and Malaysia are now vying to replace Hanoi as the host.

    Wu said the size and scope of the Asian Games – 437 events in 36 sports in Incheon this year – made it a complex organization. The investment in hosting the Games might be difficult to recoup for some hosts, he said.

    “I’m not involved in policy-making. I am sure the OCA is looking at the [Hanoi] situation and trying to find reasons,” he added, noting the work of Sheikh Ahmad and OCA leaders.

    Wu said Chinese Taipei was busy focusing on preparations for the 2017 Summer Universiade and didn’t speculate on its chances of hosting the Asian Games.

    Written by Mark Bisson

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