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Olympic women's boxing is bigger, deeper, better in Tokyo
PostWysłany: Pią Lip 30, 2021 6:48 am Odpowiedz z cytatem
st. kapral
st. kapral
Dołączył: 16 Lip 2021
Posty: 39

Olympic women's boxing is bigger, deeper, better in Tokyo

The biggest women's boxing field in Olympic history is more talented and more exciting than ever before

TOKYO -- About 15 minutes after Nesthy Petecio clinched the Philippines' first-ever medal in Olympic women's boxing, Irma Testa laughed with joy when she achieved the same history for Italy.

When Sena Irie also clinched Japan's landmark first women's boxing medal a few hours later, she didn't contain her tearful glee at her accomplishment during an Olympic tournament thick with women's boxing history at the Kokugikan Arena.

“It was the result of 13 years of work for me," Irie said through a translator. “But this tournament is a very big moment for women's boxing in Japan and in the world. We have come a long way. I hope this helps our sport.”

Just nine years after the sport's debut in London, the biggest women’s boxing field in Olympic history is more talented and more exciting than ever before — and it's flattening all kinds of milestones in Tokyo.

Petecio, Testa and Irie made their bits of national history Wednesday by winning in the quarterfinals of the Olympic 57-kilogram featherweight division, which didn’t exist before this year. Tokyo features 100 women fighting in five weight classes, nearly tripling the 36 fighters who competed in just three classes in London and Rio.

Women's boxing has grown rapidly over the past decade, both at the amateur and professional levels. But the sport has reached another level of legitimacy and attention in Japan, and it's mostly because of the blossoming of the seeds planted in London.

Dozens of girls who watched the sport's debut on television from Britain in 2012 are all grown up now, and they arrived in Tokyo ready to fight. slot

Caroline Dubois was only 11 when Ireland’s Katie Taylor and Britain's Natasha Jonas fought each other in the quarterfinals of the London Games. Taylor went on to win gold, and Dubois was fascinated.

Dubois is now the loaded British team’s lightweight, and while she's pleased by the increased number of fighters, she knows the sport's overall rise in quality is more important — and more daunting.

“It’s mad how the level, the experience, the talent has all gone up,” Dubois said. “There’s so many talented people here with so many great styles. When Katie Taylor and Natasha were here, there were a few standout talents, like them and (two-time U.S. gold medalist) Claressa Shields. There were a few girls who were just above the rest. But the level has just gone up so much. Everything is even. Everybody is so talented.”

The increase to 100 boxers is important, but the additional weight classes are even bigger to the fighters. Professional boxing has 17 weight classes for men and usually 10 for women, but boxers who don’t weigh close to the broader limits set by the Olympic sport — eight for men and five for women in Tokyo — are at a disadvantage that only gets smaller when classes are added.

For instance, Testa fought at 60-kilogram lightweight in Rio de Janeiro, and she struggled against stronger opponents. Five years later, she could compete in a lighter weight class in Tokyo — and she promptly secured a medal.
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