Africa’s Bid for Paris Olympics Spots Ends in Disappointment at Qualifiers

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Africa’s hopefuls at the World Olympic Qualification tournament in Busto-Arsizio, Italy faced a harsh reality as all 68 boxers fell short of securing one of the 49 available slots by the competition’s end on Tuesday.

The disappointing outcome was evident early on, with only three female African boxers left in contention as of Monday, while the majority of their counterparts, including all 48 male pugilists, had been eliminated prior to the quarter-finals.

The trio of African female boxers met their respective defeats on Monday night, further dimming Africa’s prospects at the qualifiers. Tunisia’s Islem Ferchichi succumbed to Vietnam’s Vo Thi Kim Anh in the bantamweight category, enduring a convincing unanimous points loss as Anh dominated all three rounds.

Despite high expectations, Cape Verde’s Ivanusa Moreira, the African welterweight champion, couldn’t overcome the challenge posed by 2019 world silver medallist Angela Carini of Italy. Carini’s consistent performance earned her victory in each round, securing a 30:27 win.

Nigeria’s Patricia Mbata, Africa’s silver medallist, put up a valiant effort in her bout against Polish boxer Elzbieta Wojcik. After a tight match that saw Mbata rally back strongly in the second round, Wojcik ultimately emerged victorious with a 5-0 decision, marking a disappointing end to Africa’s quest for Olympic slots in Italy.

However, hope remains for the continent’s boxers, with another opportunity awaiting them at the second World Olympic Qualifiers in Bangkok, Thailand, scheduled from May 23 to June 3.

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