As the registration deadline for the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships Sofia 2014 has passed, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is pleased that it can now announce that it is expecting the competition to be historic in many ways.
With this year’s competition serving as the sole Qualifying Event for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, 105 nations have entered 606 boxers (506 men and 100 women). If you also take into consideration the 175 reserve boxers registered by AIBA National Member Federations for the event, an impressive total of 781 athletes will land in Sofia between April 10 and 12, compared with the 17th edition, held in 2012 in Yerevan (Armenia), in which a total of 69 countries had registered 367 boxers (only men).
Moreover, for the first time in history, women’s youth boxers will appear in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. They will compete in the three Olympic weight categories: Fly (48-51kg), Light (57-60kg) and Middle (69-75kg). Therefore we are talking about no less than 47 countries which have registered the 100 women youth boxers. Meanwhile, 103 nations have entered 506 men youth boxers.
For men, the top five ranked boxers from different National Olympic Committees in each weight category will qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. For women, the top four will qualify.
“As AIBA President and on behalf of the entire boxing Family, I am extremely delighted with these figures”, stated Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. “They demonstrate the fast growth of our beloved sport and are the consequence of AIBA’s reform and changes. This shows that more and more young athletes dream of embracing a career in our sport and believe that AIBA is offering them exciting opportunities. They are the future of the sport of boxing and I cannot wait to see them compete in Sofia”.
For several years now, AIBA has delivered one of the most pioneering sports development programs in the world. The AIBA “Road to Dream” Program offers athletes and coaches from underprivileged and developing boxing countries the opportunity to attend intensive two week training camps in the build-up to major AIBA competitions such as the World Championships.
AIBA provides each participant with airline tickets, accommodation, food and drink, full training facilities with equipment, training kits, gloves and headgear, full medical and massage services as well as covering insurance, visa expenses and local transportation.
The AIBA “Road to Sofia” training camp will kick off on March 29 and will host 60 boxers (48 men and 12 women) and 18 coaches from 31 countries.
The 2014 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships will be held at the Armeec Arena of Sofia (Bulgaria) from 10 to 20 April 2014.