Only one opportunity remains for Team USA’s remaining unqualified male boxers to clinch their spots in the 2016 Olympic Games. The four American boxers competing in the WSB/APB Olympic Qualification Event July 3-8 in Vargas, Venezuela will be welterweight Paul Kroll (Philadelphia, Pa.), light heavyweight
Jonathan Esquivel (Anaheim, Calif.), heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) and super heavyweight Brandon Lynch (Albany, N.Y.). Kroll and Esquivel need to finish in the top three to qualify for the Olympic Games while Awesome and Lynch need to win the overall tournament to earn a spot in Brazil.
The official tournament draw was completed on Saturday afternoon in Vargas and the brackets are now set for all of the event’s competitors. Lynch will open the tournament for Team USA in a first round bout with Ukraine’s Rostyslav Arkhypenko tomorrow in the 5 p.m. session at the Domo Jose Maria Vargas. He will be the only American boxer competing in Sunday’s action.
The remaining three U.S. boxers will step in to the ring on Monday at the APB/WSB Olympic Qualifying Event. Esquivel and Awesome will box in the early session at 11 a.m. ET, facing Bulgaria’s Spas Genov and Ecuador’s Julio Cesar Castillo Torres respectively. Kroll will box in the evening session at 5 p.m. ET in a match with Germany’s Arajik Marutjan.
2016 Olympic coaches Kay Koroma (Alexandria, Va.) and Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.) will lead the U.S. team at the final qualifier. Brandon Walker (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will serve in the Team Manager role at his second straight qualifier. Dana Johnston (Colorado Springs, Colo.) has joined the team as the athletic trainer as well.
Kroll, Esquivel, Awesome, Sanchez, Johnston and Walker all traveled from Azerbaijan to Houston for a brief training camp before heading down to Venezuela on Wednesday. Koroma and Lynch joined them in Texas earlier this week before the team flew south for the tournament.
U.S. Opening Bouts
152 lbs/69 kg: Paul Kroll, Philadelphia, Pa., vs. Arajik Marutjan, GER
178 lbs/81 kg: Jonathan Esquivel, Anaheim, Calif., vs. Spas Genov, BUL
201 lbs/91 kg: Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas vs. Julio Cesar Castillo Torres, ECU
201+ lbs/91+ lbs: Brandon Lynch, Albany, N.Y., vs. Rostyslav Arkhypenko, UKR
Full Event Info
79 boxers from 40 nations set to compete for the 26 Rio 2016 quota places on offer at the last Qualification event before the Olympic Games. The renowned Jose Maria Vargas Dome in Vargas, Venezuela, will host the final Olympic qualification tournament from July 3-8, open to boxers from APB, WSB
as well as other professional organisations following the historic change to the AIBA statute voted for at the Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne on 1 June.
As the home of the Venezuela Caciques WSB team and the location for the 2015 AMBC Continental Championships, Vargas has already firmly established itself as the national capital of boxing, and is ready to welcome athletes from 40 countries competing for the 26 Olympic quota places at the tournament. The event comes just one month before the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the first ever to be held on the South American continent.
“This is a historic moment in boxing and we are eager to complete the Rio 2016 line-up with a groundbreaking competition in Vargas, open to APB/WSB and pro boxers from all organisations for the very first time.” declared AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. “I want to express my sincere thanks to the organising committee for their excellent work in preparing the last Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the home of Venezuelan boxing where the passion for our sport is unequalled”.
The competition will see 26 Rio 2016 Quota Places available, three at every weight category except heavyweight (91kg) and super heavyweight (91+kg), from which only the winners will earn an Olympic spot.
“It is a great honour for Venezuela to host this crucial, indeed historic competition, and I would like to thank AIBA for having the confidence to award us the hosting of such a key event on the road to the Rio Olympic Games,” said the Venezuelan Vice-Minister of Sport, Alejandro Terán. “We are ready to ensure a first-class occasion for the boxers, their coaches, the officials and all the fans, as befits this most important Qualification Tournament, and greatly look forward to receiving pro boxers from all over the world.”