The European Olympic hopefuls who crowded into London on the 14th to kick off 10 days of qualifying tournaments are headed home. The International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force (BTF), citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, “has decided today to suspend the current boxing Road to Toyko European qualifier in London, Great Britain, and the subsequent Americas and Final World qualifiers, which were scheduled to take place in May. The European qualifier, which started on 14 March and was planned to run until 24 March, will be closed after today’s evening session.”
The event had already seen Delfine Persoon fall early and two-time silver medalist Clemente Russo withdraw from a planned bout with Frazer Clarke due to unrelated illness.
The Americas qualifier, scheduled to begin next week in Buenos Aires, already hit the chopping block last week. The Africa and Asia/Oceania qualifiers managed to go through, though the latter had to be moved to Jordan.
There’s still time left before the Games themselves, of course, but it’s getting harder and harder to be optimistic.