The APB boxers shone at the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event in the Venezuelan city of Vargas at the weekend, the last opportunity for qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With three gold and silver medals, six bronze and eight Rio 2016 Quota Places earned, including all three available at welterweight (69kg), it proved a highly successful five days for the AIBA Pro boxers in Venezuela.
The first of the golds went to Kenyan Commonwealth Games silver medallist Benson ‘Gichboy’ Njangiru at bantamweight (56kg), after he seized his last qualification opportunity with a typically determined display throughout the competition. The welterweight (69kg) category belonged to the stars of APB, with gold going to Mexico’s Juan Pablo Romero, silver to Germany’s Arajik Marutjan and bronze and the third quota place to Spain’s Youba Ndiaye Sissokho, after he came through a tense Box-Off against India’s pro boxing Asian Champion Neeraj Goyat.
Ecuador’s Marlo Delgado used all of his experience to win the gold and a place at his second Olympic Games with a middleweight (75kg) final victory over the home nation’s Endry Saavedra, before Qatari sensation Thulasi Tharumalingam, who has enjoyed a strong first year on the APB circuit, won the light welterweight (64kg) silver. Argentina’s Leandro Blanc won light flyweight (49kg) bronze, with both he and Tharumalingam booking their places at Rio 2016 in the process.