Brazilians and Britons box clever in Rio test event
Brazilians won three of the gold medals on offer at the Rio International Boxing Tournament early in December, bringing the latest Olympic test event to a successful and encouraging close.
The home crowd at Riocentro Pavilion 4 went home happy after seeing Robson Conceição win the men’s 60kg gold during a dramatic finals day on Sunday, December 6, with Joedson Teixeira winning the men’s 64kg event and Gidelson de Oliveira triumphing in the men’s 91kg.
It meant that the event, which included boxers from 19 different countries, passed smoothly in and out of the ring, with the facilities in Rio drawing plenty of praise.
“The Test Event demonstrated the high level of preparation of the Organising Committee and I’m very confident that boxing will be one of the most exciting sports to follow in August 2016 for the enjoyment of fans from all over the world and the large, passionate Brazilian public”, said Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Logistical performance was not the only thing at stake. Some of the competitors were fighting to enhance their claims for places in their nations’ Olympic teams – with De Oliveira admitting in the lead-up that it was “much more than a test event, it’s a matter of life”.
He did his claims no harm, and nor did the British boxer Chantelle Cameron, who was one of five Britons to reach the finals and took the 60kg gold by defeating Estelle Mossely (FRA). Joshua Buatsi (men’s 81kg) and Frazer Clarke (men’s +91kg) were other British winners, while Uzbekistan also saw multiple titles with Hasanboy Dusmatov (men’s 49kg) and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (men’s 56kg) winning their respective events.
Among the facilities tested during the competition were the results system, medical services, anti-doping, sporting equipment, public influx and the work of volunteers. Breno Pontes, Boxing Competition Manager for Rio 2016, expressed his satisfaction that the venue had passed the test.
“We are delighted to have been able to deliver the Aquece Rio Boxing Test Event on time, which demonstrates the capacity and readiness of Rio 2016 for the upcoming Olympic Games this summer”, said Prentes, with the appetite having been thoroughly whetted for another thrilling Olympic boxing tournament.