Sri Lankan boxers prepare for Paris Olympics journey

Umayanga Mihiran

Colombo, Jan 3, Wed – Boxing Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) shared that the country’s top boxers are getting ready for the 96th National Boxing Championship. This event, happening at the Royal College MAS Arena from January 13 to 17, starting at 4 PM, is crucial for Sri Lankan boxers dreaming of spots in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

BASL, working with the National Selection Committee, has big plans. They’re not just looking at the Summer Olympic qualifications but also focusing on the 1st and 2nd World Qualifying Tournament for 2024. Doing well in the National Boxing Championship is key. It will help form a national boxing pool, opening doors for international tournaments in 2024.

The criteria for selecting boxers go beyond just technical skills, tactics, and fitness. They’re also looking at how well boxers perform in international tournaments. A ranking system will give more importance to boxers who have a good chance of winning medals in global boxing events.

This year’s National Championship will show off the achievements of Sri Lanka’s emerging talents from their recent tour to Malaysia. They brought home one gold, thanks to Umayanga Mihiran, along with two silver and two bronze medals. These young talents are expected to give tough competition to more experienced boxers in the race for National Championship titles.

Looking forward, the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) has big plans for the next year. The ASBC Asian U22 & Youth Boxing Championships are scheduled for April, followed by the ASBC Asian Junior and Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Boxing Championships in August. In November, just three months after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the 2024 ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships will take place.

Nearly 150 boxers from 20 clubs, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police, are expected to participate. The championship will feature 13 weight categories for men and 12 weight classes for women. Eligibility criteria include being a gold or silver medalist in various boxing tournaments. Women boxers with medals from specific tournaments can join if they are between 19 and 40 years old.

The Technical meeting and Official draw are set for January 12, 2024, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Royal MAS Arena. Boxer seeding is based on performances from the 2022 National Championships, the Layton Cup Tournament 2023, and the Clifford Cup Championships 2023.

Notably, Umayanga Mihiran and Nishadi Malshani were named the Best Boxers (Men and Women) at the 95th National Boxing Championship in February 2023. The armed forces teams were recognized as the most successful teams, earning various trophies for their outstanding achievements.

Umayanga Mihiran
Golden champion Umayanga Mihiran (right), recipient of last year’s Best Boxer title, races towards the Paris Olympics 2024 after securing gold in the recent Malaysian tour.
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