Americas Olympic Qualifier tentatively set for February/March 2021

first_img….GBA heads back to the ‘drawing board’WITH the Americas Boxing Confederation Olympic Qualifier tournament tentatively set for between February and March of 2021, Steve Ninvalle, president of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), said despite being disappointed that the initial event was postponed, they will head back to the drawing board as soon as the boxers return home from Cuba.Ninvalle had appeared on the last edition of NCN’s Sports on Tuesday show, where he also spoke about his association’s plans for amateur boxers, once the green light is given for the sport to return.Canada-based Taveena Kum is the lone female on Guyana’s five-member team for the Olympic Qualifiers.With the support of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the Government of Guyana, the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) had dispatched Keevin Allicock, Desmond Amsterdam, Colin Lewis and Dennis Thomas for a three-month training stint in Cuba.Apart from the boxers based in Cuba, Canada-based Taveena Kum is the lone female on Guyana’s five-member team that was set to feature in the Qualifier which was scheduled for March 26 to April 4 in Argentina.However, things went downhill for the GBA, after the Americas Olympic Qualifier for boxing was cancelled when Argentina’s Government restricted international events in the country with immediate effect.Ninvalle related that the postponement was a set-back, more so financially, since the GBA will now have hit the reset button on every aspect of the boxers’ preparation.He also felt that with the amount of work done, Guyana was robbed of not seeing a boxer qualify for the Olympic Games.“The four boxers that we have in Cuba, they were trained to a peak; their mental strength was there to a peak and I think it would’ve been the first time that we would’ve had a qualifier for the Olympics in a very, very long time,” Ninvalle said.John Douglas, Guyana’s flag bearer for the 1996 Olympic Games, was the last boxer to represent the Golden Arrowhead at the IOC’s flagship event, where he lost in the first round of his light heavyweight clash with Germany’s Thomas Ulrich, who went on to claim bronze at the event.“We will have to see their (the boxers) mindset when they get back to Guyana, and it is my hope that maybe we wouldn’t have to send them out again; we can bring in the Cuban coach and we can have a camp right here (in Guyana), where we’ll have persons from the CARICOM region and we can have our boxers train right at home,” the long-serving GBA president reasoned.Meanwhile, Ninvalle reasoned that the GBA was only able to run off one of their many tournaments for the year before things came to a grinding halt because of COVID-19, and so far, things remain up in the air as it relates to when the sport will see a return.“We’ll have to wait and see when Guyana is reopened,” Ninvalle said during the interview, while adding that “as it is, our boxers have all been advised to do nothing in close proximity of each other. So they can run and they can shadow box, but there’s no sparring.”He added that the boxers will be “just training to keep fit, because they can’t train for a competition that they don’t know when it’s going to be held. So as soon as we have the green light, then we will put our plans in place; but if you ask me, I don’t expect any boxing to be held in Guyana within the next four months.last_img

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