Grenadian boxer disappointed over cancellation of Olympic qualifiers

by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada

  • Argentina boxing qualifiers have been postponed
  • Funds raised will be used to complete Clement’s training
  • International Olympic Committee committed to holding Tokyo Olympics as planned

Grenadian Boxer, Rufus Clement, has reported to NOWGrenada that due to the pandemic of the coronavirus Covid-19, his planned travel to Argentina on the 23 March for qualifiers for boxing ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been postponed.

The International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force (BTF) release stated that “The Local Organising Committee (LOC) informed the BTF earlier today that the Government of Argentina has taken the decision to restrict all types of international events in the country with immediate effect as a precautionary measure to Covid-19” and “The BTF understands and respects the decision taken by the public authorities of Argentina during this difficult time worldwide. We are searching for the appropriate solution for this unexpected situation and will immediately inform the national olympic committees, national federations and other impacted parties as soon as further information is available.”

The statement came despite the stance taken by the International Olympic Committee to continue with preparations for the hosting of the event. Referring to the current coronavirus situation as “difficult circumstances,” President Thomas Bach said the International Olympic Committee stated that they are committed to holding the Tokyo Olympics as planned this summer.

Thursday 12 March 2020, marked the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia 19 weeks before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. According to a release posted on the IOC website states, “…the many measures being taken now by authorities all around the world give us confidence and keep us fully committed to delivering Olympic Games that can bring the world together in peace.”

As of today, the IOC is still urging athletes to prepare for the Olympics as planned, from 24 July to 9 August. The release also stated that the IOC is aware of the challenges faced by athletes, the international federations and the National Olympic Committees, with the qualification system in a number of sports but has assured them that they are working alongside all stakeholders in order to address this situation.

The release spoke of the engagement with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee through the IOC joint task force, which was set up in mid-February, and expressed that they will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic.

Clement is awaiting feedback from the Grenada Olympic Committee and has announced on his social media page that due to the cancellation of the qualifiers in Argentina, he is forced to end his online fundraiser but assured the public that the funds raised so far will be used to complete some of his training before returning to Grenada.

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