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Threat to boxing's Olympic future? It's gonna be ok, say teams at world championship

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Boxing's Olympic future hangs in balance but the teams that have checked in for the 10th women's world championships here are only "mildly concerned" about the administrative drama that threatens a much-awaited expansion in 2020.

Women's will expand from three to five weight categories -- 51kg, 57kg, 60kg, 69kg and 75kg -- at the provided the sport remains on the roster.

At present, that itself is under threat after the election of controversial Uzbek Gafur Rakhimov, who allegedly has links to organised crime, as the Association (AIBA) He won by an overwhelming margin despite the (IOC) making it clear that his nomination itself was unacceptable.

Less than a week after finals on November 24, the IOC might give a definitive word on whether will remain in the in a board meeting scheduled in

"We hear about it all the time but my job is to train for this (the world championship) as an is obviously massive and boxing too. Obviously it bothers because it's not just a hobby for me, it's my job," Lauren Price, the middleweight gold-medallist from Wales, told

"But as an what's down to us is concentrate on training," she added.

Close to 70 countries are set to compete at the championships which will get underway from November 15 in the national capital. The participation is a landmark for the 10th edition and it will feature nine debutants including and

Women's boxing made its Olympic debut in and has grown rapidly, getting a place in the Commonwealth and in 2014.

It is set to become bigger in Tokyo if the AIBA manages to convince IOC to keep the sport.

"I hope they sort these problems and boxing can be there in Because I don't think will be good without boxing. But I am hopeful it will be alright, there is mild concern but I am sure the situation will resolve itself," said Thailand's Cuban head

England's coaches are quite sure that the administrators will find a way to resolve the crises.

"We don't believe that the situation will come to such a point that boxing will not be there in We feel things will be worked out and better sense will prevail. As coaches we try to insulate the athletes from all this and keep them focussed on the job," David Alloway, a part of the five-strong coaching staff that England has.

"We don't even bring it up because we are sure it's not something that won't be resolved," added another England

Bulgaria's head Fikret Eredzhebov, whose competitive career ended at 24 due to a liver problem, said it would destroy the boxers' motivation if the sport goes off the Olympic roster. Eredzhebov has been a coach from 33 years.

"Olympics is the biggest thing in amateur boxing. There would be no motivation left if it is not an Olympic sport. So, yes it is an issue but I believe everyone will work together to find a way," he said.

The popular combat sport has been contested at every Olympics since its introduction at the 1904 Games, barring 1912 when it was banned in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 16:35 IST