Boxing Olympic Qualification: The Key Takeaways From Amman
After 225 bouts at the Prince Hamzah Hall in Amman, Jordan, 63 boxers have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics – 42 men and 21 women.
And judging by the standard on display, almost all of them will fancy their chances of winning a boxing medal in Tokyo.
It was a packed 9 days of action, and below we take a look back at the key things we learned and all those who qualified for the Games, but don't forget you can watch the highlights from Amman on Olympic Channel here.
Tokyo tickets shared across nations
Most of the qualifying spots were taken by the traditional Asia/Oceania superpowers, with India and Kazakhstan both getting nine boxers through; Uzbekistan, who topped the medal table at Rio 2016, seven; and China six. Australia and Jordan had five qualifiers, while Thailand and Chinese Taipei both had four. China won the most gold medals at the qualifying event, with four.
Japan, who are at liberty to pick more athletes for their home Olympics, qualified three boxers, including two women for the first time – flyweight Tsukimi Namiki, who won a silver medal, and featherweight Sena Irie, who beat Philippine top seed Nesthy Petecio before being beaten by China's Yuan Chang in the final.
One of the most heartening aspects of the action in Amman was the emergence of some prodigious young talent, including a couple of brilliant teenagers - Thai men’s flyweight Thitisan Panmot, who had to settle for a silver medal after suffering a bizarre injury in his final, and Iranian men’s featherweight Daniyal Shahbakhsh, who qualified via the box-offs.
At the other end of the experience spectrum, Indian great and six-time world champion Mary Kom reached her second Olympic Games, having won bronze at London 2012.
But perhaps the standout stories of the tournament were written by boxers from hosts Jordan.
Brothers Zeyad and Hussein Ishaish, a welterweight and heavyweight respectively, qualified for Tokyo, with the marauding Zeyad winning gold after India's Vikas Kirshan failed to make weight on the morning of the final.
And 34-year-old featherweight Mohammad Alwadi wowed his home-town fans by beating some high-class operators on his way to the final - in which he was beaten by the reigning world champion - and qualifying for his first Olympics.
Asia/Oceania women to watch in Tokyo
Given the performances of Asian countries in recent Olympics and world championships, just about any boxer who qualified in Amman has a chance of winning a medal in Tokyo.
On the women’s side, the aforementioned Japanese flyweight Namiki is a dynamo who never stops coming forward, despite usually giving up height and reach advantages to her opponents. She was outpointed in her final by the excellent Yuan Chang, one of three Chinese women to qualify in Amman, as well as win gold.
China’s Li Qian, a former world champion who won a bronze medal at Rio 2016, was very cool and calculating in seeing off Australia’s Caitlin Parker in their middleweight final and will probably be her country’s biggest hope for boxing gold in Japan.
In the featherweight category, Lin Yu-ting, one of four women from Chinese Taipei to qualify for Tokyo, beat Japanese woman Irie in her final and is a tough, skilful, long-levered switch-hitter who can box from range or mix it up on the inside, if need be.
Chinese Taipei welterweight Nien-Chin Chen, a former world champion and Rio 2016 Olympian, disappointed in her final against Chinese rival Hong Gu - but both women could well appear on the podium in Japan.
At lightweight, Yeonji Oh, one of two South Korean women to qualify for Tokyo (no South Korean men did), boxed superbly in outpointing India's Simranjit Baatth in their final.
Day 9 - Finals - Late Session | Olympic Boxing Qualification 2020 - Amman
And the men’s main medal hopes
Reigning featherweight world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov was one of three Uzbek men to win gold medals in Amman. A relentless front-foot boxer, he outclassed local hero Alwadi in the final and will be a big threat in Japan.
So, too, will the men who contested the lightweight final, which was the most thrilling bout of the whole tournament. Uzbekistan's Elnur Abduraimov pipped Kazakh Zakir Safiullin on points after nine torrid minutes - and maybe they will do it all again in the summer. Fingers crossed.
Flyweight Hu Jianguan was China’s only man to reach a final in Amman, in which he beat the aforementioned Panmot, the tricky young Thai, via a strange first-round stoppage. Hu won a bronze medal in Rio and should be in the conversation again in Tokyo.
Both middleweight finalists will also be big threats in Tokyo. Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul is a teak tough, hammer-fisted southpaw who never stops marching forwards, like a horror film monster. Filipino Eumir Marcial, the reigning World Championships silver medallist who narrowly outpointed Amankul in the final, has tremendous footwork, fast hands and is difficult to hit clean. One of only two qualifiers from the Philippines, he will be desperate to win his country a medal in Tokyo.
Kazakhstan’s Bekzad Nurdauletov reigned with terror over the light-heavyweight division in Amman, earning unanimous points victories over the excellent Tajik Shabbos Negmatulloev (who later qualified via the box-offs), Jordan’s Odai Alhindawi and fine young Australian Paul Aokuso in the final. It will take a brilliant boxer to beat him in Tokyo, whatever part of the world he's from.
Kazhakhstan heavyweight Vassiliy Levit showed he's still a man to be feared on the world stage by outpointing New Zealand's dangerous David Nyika in the final in Amman; as did Uzbekistan's reigning super-heavyweight world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Bakhodir Jaololov, who earned a wide unanimous decision over Australia's Justis Huni in their final.
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The Asia/Oceania boxers who sealed qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Full list of boxers who secured their ticket to Tokyo at the Asia/Oceania qualifier in Amman:
Men's flyweight (52kg): Amit Panghal (India), Hu Jianguan (China), Thitisan Panmot (Thailand), Zoirov Shakhobidin (Uzbekistan), Saken Bibossinov (Kazakhstan), Alex Winwood (Australia)
Men's featherweight (57kg): Mirzakhalilov (Uzbekistan), Serik Temirzhanov (Kazakhstan), Van Duong Nguyen (Vietnam), Mohammad Alwadi (Jordan), Daniyal Shahbakhsh (Iran), Chatchai Butdee (Thailand)
Men's lightweight (63kg): Obada Alkasbeh (Jordan), Zakir Safiullin (Kazakhstan), Baatarsukhiin Chinzorig (Mongolia), Elnur Abduraimov (Uzbekistan), Bakhodur Usmonov (Tajikistan), Manish Kaushik (India)
Men's welterweight (69kg): Bobo-Usmon Baturov (Uzbekistan), Zeyad Ishaish (Jordan), Vikas Krishnan Yadav (India), Ablaikhan Zhussupov (Kazakhstan), Sewon Okazawa (Japan)
Men's middleweight (75kg): Eumir Marcial (Philippines), Ashish Kumar (India), Abilkhan Amankul (Kazakhstan), Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke (China), Shahin Mousavi (Iran)
Men's light heavyweight (81kg): Bekzad Nurdauletov (Kazakhstan), Odai Alhindawi (Jordan), Chen Daxiang (China), Paulo Aokuso (Australia), Shabbos Negmatulloev (Tajikistan)
Men's heavyweight (91kg): Levit Vassiliy (Kazakhstan), Hussein Ishaish (Jordan), Sanjar Tursunov (Uzbekistan), David Nyika (New Zealand)
Men's super-heavyweight (+91kg): Bakhodir Jalolov (Uzbekistan), Satish Kumar (India), Justis Huni (Australia), Kamshybek Kunkabayev (Kazakhstan)
Women's flyweight (51kg): Huang Hsiao-wen (Chinese Taipei), Tsukimi Namiki (Japan), Chang Yuan (China), Mary Kom (India), Rakhimova Tursunov (Uzbekistan), Irish Magno (Philippines)
Women's featherweight (57kg): Sena Irie (Japan), Im Ae-ji (Republic of Korea), Skye Nicolson (Australia), Lin Yu-ting (Chinese Taipei)
Women's lightweight (60 kg): Oh Yeon-ji (Republic of Korea), Sudaporn Seesondee (Thailand), Wu Shih-yi (Chinese Taipei), Simranjit Kaur (India)
Women's welterweight (69 kg): Chen Nien-chin (Chinese Taipei), Baison Manikon (Thailand), Gu Hong (China), Lovlina Borgohain (India)
Women's middleweight (75 kg): Li Qian (China), Pooja Rani (India), Nadezhda Ryabets (Kazakhstan), Caitlin Parker (Australia)
Don't forget you can watch the highlights from Amman on Olympic Channel here, and a review of the top action on our Live Show from after the final day of boxing.
For the full list of qualifiers from Africa, you can read our round-up on the qualifying event in Dakar, Senegal.
And stay with Olympic Channel for live coverage of the qualifying events for Europe and the Americas too.