MANILA, Philippines – Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) chairman Manny V. Pangilinan was "disappointed" in the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force's (IOC-BTF) decision to award to Jordan the hosting of the 2020 Asia & Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament.
"The news that came out early this morning that the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Boxing that was pulled out of Wuhan, China has been awarded instead to Amman, Jordan is obviously, a disappointment," said Pangilinan in a statement.
"We were prepared to fully support the hosting and would have mobilized all resources available toward that end." (READ: Boxing Olympic qualifiers in Wuhan cancelled as PH offers hosting)
Despite the rejection, Pangilinan said he hoped that Philippines would be granted the chance to host future international boxing tournaments as ABAP ramped up its support for its Filipino pugs' Olympic bid.
"But there will be other opportunities and we remain steadfast in our commitment to support our boxing program with the same enthusiasm we have shown the past 10 years," added Pangilinan.
"As I committed to ABAP president Ricky Vargas and secretary-general Ed Picson when we first decided to tender an offer to host the Asia-Oceania Qualifiers, we will continue to back our boxers’ drive for glory in the Olympics."
"I thank the IOC Boxing Task Force for their kind consideration of our offer. We wish Jordan well in their hosting."
On Tuesday, January 21, ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson informed the IOC-BTF that Philippines was "keenly considering" hosting the continental qualifiers as the country recently staged the 2019 Southeast Asian Games last December.
Philippines' IOC representative Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski also followed up on the request through IOC BTF chair Morinari Watanabe.
Watanabe, though, thanked ABAP for its offer to host the Olympic qualifiers in a letter to Picson dated Saturday, January 25.
"Your support and generous offer to host the event was greatly appreciated, and we know that we speak on behalf of the IOC and the entire boxing community when we say, thank you for your commitment to making sure the athletes have the chance to compete and qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo," wrote Watanabe.
The Asia & Oceania qualifying event for this summer's Tokyo Olympics – that was originally set in coronavirus epidemic epicenter Wuhan, China – would be held from March 3 to 11 in Amman. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.