Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pressure on 2012 boxers

Interesting piece in one of the Irish papers today looking at the effects of only having three weight divisions for women's boxing in the London Olympics. Looks like there will be a large shuffle with boxers moving up and down the divisions to try and qualify. And something tells me the women moving down from higher categories will stand a *slight* advantage as long as they can keep the weight off. 

Taylor pic Lucozade Sport
For anyone reading that who hasn't seen how easily boxers drop kgs, it might sound nuts. But if you're fit and know how to skip in a sweat-suit or even in a sauna (oh yes) then dropping five or more kgs just in time to make a weigh-in is not difficult. And depending on how long you have before the actual fight, you can be back up at your normal weight by ringtime. But lighter women trying to go up, or women naturally in these three divisions could face problems. Bulking up means losing speed and agility, plus mentally you feel slow and a bit trapped in your gloves.

A former Irish champion interviewed for the piece, Michael Carruth said: "There is huge pressure on Katie (Taylor, Irish world champion) that she just needs to turn up and win. That’s not right. Two World champions will come into her weight division because there are only three weight categories in the Olympics for women. You will have the 64 kilo class going down to 60 and you’ll have the 57kg boxers going up to 60kg. 
"Then you are looking at beaten semi-finalists and quarter-finalists also flooding into the same weight category."

If you think of all the quality women boxers you know, and imagine them shoehorning into three divisions with just 36 places, well the getting there is going to be as big an achievement as medalling. While Taylor faces incomers, another favourite of mine - Mary Kom from India - will be looking to go up. The divisions are: 
Fly Weight (48-51kg), Light Weight (57-60kg), Middle Weight (69-75kg) 

Sadaf Rahimi, Afghan Women's Boxing Team pic Majid Saeedi

What about the boxers from your country? How are they fixed for qualifiers?

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