Two Nigerian boxers crash out of Olympic qualifiers

Two Nigerian boxers have exited the ongoing Road to Paris 2024 Olympic qualifying tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ifeanyi Onyekwere suffererd a point decision defeat against Dmytro Lovchynskyi of Ukraine in the Men’s +92kg (Super-heavyweight) round of 32 earlier today.

Following suit was Blessing Oraekwe who slumped to a unanimous points (0-5) loss to Ani Hovsepyan of Armenia in round 32 of the  women’s 66Kg.

Nigeria’s hopes of qualification for the Olympics are now pinned on three remaining female boxers; Zainab Adeshina(50kg,) Patricia Mbata(75kg) and Elizabeth Oshoba(57kg)

The underwhelming performances by Team Nigeria at the qualifying in Thailand diminishes chances of the country’s athletes to share in the recently announced prize monies for medalists in the Paris Games.

The International Boxing Association made the announcement today despite having nothing to do with the competition at Paris 2024.

The disgraced Russian-led organisation,  who become the first sporting body to join World Athletics in offering prize money for Olympic medallists, was stripped of recognition by the International Olympic Committee last year over governance, finance and ethical issues.

The tournament in Paris will instead by run by the IOC, so IBA’s offer to award the top performers at the Games has been dismissed as troublemaking by those within the boxing world.

IBA president Umar Kremlev is the former chief of the Russian Boxing Federation and announced ‘the unprecedented move in the history of the sport’ in a statement on Wednesday, claiming they will distribute more than $3.1m (£2.4m) to over 100 athletes.

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