Brendan Irvine Tokyo spot secure despite Olympic rescheduling insists Bernard Dunne

The International Olympic Committee's boxing taskforce is to resume the European qualifier from the point at which it closed earlier this month - meaning Brendan Irvine, and all other boxers who sealed qualification in London, can look forward to the Tokyo Games. Picture by PA
Neil Loughran

THE Tokyo Olympics has been rescheduled for July 23-August 8 next year – and Belfast boxer Brendan Irvine will lead the Irish charge, his place already rubber-stamped despite the qualification tournament ending just three days in.

Flyweight Irvine defeated Hungary’s Istvan Szaka at the Copper Box Arena to secure the last eight place needed to secure his spot at a second consecutive Games.

However, following the premature end to that European qualifier, and the subsequent postponement of the Olympic Games scheduled for this summer, confusion surrounded how that might affect the boxers who had sealed qualification in London earlier this month.

Bernard Dunne - high performance director of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association - indicated that the International Olympic Committee’s boxing taskforce intended to resume the qualifier from the point at which it closed, meaning Irvine remains Tokyo-bound in 2021.

“We’ve been informed that it is; we’ve already accepted his place in Tokyo so that’s all been confirmed,” said the former world super-bantamweight champion.

“That’s what they have said; they have said it will continue as is.”

The new dates for the Tokyo Olympics were confirmed yesterday, less than a week after the acceleration of the coronavirus crisis led to them being postponed. The Paralympic Games will now take place between August 24 and September 5 next year.

IOC president Thomas Bach spoke last week about the need for a quick decision to be made, and these dates - a year on from when the Games had originally been due to take place - give Tokyo 2020 organisers the longest time-frame to prepare.

It also allows Olympic and Paralympic sports federations time to reorganise their own calendars, with World Athletics quick to announce it would now examine dates in 2022 for its World Championships, which had been due to take place in August next year.

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