Women boxers to take part in 2012 Olympics

glovesThey will compete at three weight divisions after the IOC’s executive board ruled that boxing would no longer be a male-only event.

Britain’s Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said: “I am delighted the IOC have made this historic decision and opened up the last of the Olympic closed shops.”

She added: “It will be a landmark moment come London 2012 when for the first time every sport will have women participating in it. There are still major disparities in the number of medals women can win compared to men but this is a step in the right direction.

“In this country women’s boxing has come on in leaps and bounds and is growing quickly at all levels.

“London 2012 will now create the first ever generation of boxing heroines and hopefully inspire even more women to take up the sport.”

Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the International Amateur Boxing Association, which had been pushing for inclusion, described the announcement in Berlin as a “historic decision”.

Dr Wu said: “AIBA welcomed women’s boxing into its programme as long ago as 1994. I am thrilled and delighted that at long last women can claim their rightful place alongside men in the Olympic boxing programme.”

The boxing divisions in which women will fight at the London 2012 Games include flyweight 48-51kg, lightweight 56-60kg and middleweight 69-75.

For the total number of boxers, both male and female, competing at the Olympics to remain at 226, it is likely that one weight division will be dropped from the men’s competition, taking it down to 10 weight categories.

Source: PA

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