(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO) – The Women’s World Championships official event draw was held today in Qinhuangdao, China and the three potential Olympians from the United States and six fellow World Championship team members know the road that lies ahead for each of them in the key international tournament
An altered Olympic qualification process focused on continental quotas was announced at the event’s technical meeting on Thursday, and the United States’ three Olympic hopefuls will now have a slightly different road than initially thought to advance to London. While eight boxers from each Olympic weight class will still earn berths in China, the selections will be based on how they finish in comparison with the other boxers from their continent. Flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) will need to place in the top two from the Americas while lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) requires a first place finish in the continent. Due to this wrinkle in the qualification process, it could be the end of the tournament before the full list of 2012 Olympic Games competitors is announced
Underwood and Shields will open action tomorrow with Esparza taking the ring for the first time on Sunday due to a first round bye. Underwood will take on Dayana Sanchez of Argentina while Shields battles India’s Pooja Rani in first round action on Saturday. Esparza will face the winner of a first round contest between Argentina’s Pamela Benavidez and Zohra El Zahraoui of Mauritius in her first bout on Sunday.
In non-Olympic weight class action, welterweight Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) will kick off the competition for Team USA in a bout with New Zealand’s Daena Stephenson today. Bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) will join the Olympic trio in competition on Sunday as she battles Nicole Michel of Switzerland. Featherweight Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) and light heavyweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will open competition on Monday. Brown will await the winner of a bout between Serbia’s Ranic Bojana and India’s Mandakini Kangabam while Crews will take on France’s Sabrina Delarue. Light welterweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) will be the final U.S. boxer to take the ring as she takes on the winner of the bout between New Zealand’s Laura Matthews and Spain’s Judit Barbosa Sotelo on May 15.
Preliminary action will be contested in two sessions daily at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time from today through Tuesday. Quarterfinal competition will take place on Wednesday prior to Thursday’s off day. Friday will feature semifinal rounds action with the event concluding on Saturday, May 19 with final round competition.
A full list of brackets for the event are attached, and live results can be viewed via the AIBA website at www.aiba.org.