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26 February 2021, 16:56

Belarusian athletes hopeful to perform well in Tokyo

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – We need to perform well at the Tokyo Olympics to show the whole country that the money allocated for the development of the elite sport is the money well spent, senior coach of Belarus' national boxing team Sergei Asanov told the media following the Olympic Assembly in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

"Boxers need to aspire for this. We haven't had Olympic medals for a long time. We hope that the Tokyo Games will bring us a long-awaited reward. Now we are preparing hard for the Olympics so that these expectations should not be groundless," the coach said.

Speaking about the updated system to qualify for the Games, Sergei Asanov noted that it has become more complicated in the wake of the cancellation of the world Olympic qualifier. The main hopes will be placed on the European qualifying event which will be held from 4 June to 8 June 2021.

"After the cancellation of the world Olympic qualifier, which was scheduled for June 2021 in Paris, the task of winning Olympic licenses has become even more difficult for Belarusian boxers. We will focus on the European event, where we will need to do our best to get to the Olympics. We need to do this in order not to rely on the rankings compiled by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force, which does not quite correctly display the balance of power in the world Olympic boxing,” he added.

Earlier, the IOC Boxing Task Force had canceled the world qualifier scheduled for June 2021 in Paris, giving priority to the continental qualifying competitions.

Fifty-three quota places (32 for men and 21 for women) that would have been available at the World Olympic Qualifier will now be assigned based on rankings instead, with the best-ranked boxer per region, per weight category receiving a Tokyo 2020 berth.

A total of 289 boxers (189 men and 100 women) will compete at the Tokyo Olympics that were rescheduled from 2020 to 2021 due to the pandemic. The Games will take place on 23 July-8 August.

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