GB Boxing have selected a 13 strong squad to send the European Olympic qualification event, which runs from April 7-18 in Samsun, Turkey.
This event is the first of four Olympic qualification events this year and there will be 36 places for Rio 2016 on offer. Three places are available at each of the 10 men’s weights and two slots are on offer in each of three women’s weight categories.
The surprises in the team see Galal Yafai selected at 49kgs. While Harvey Horn won a European silver medal and entered the World championships last year, Yafai (the younger brother of pros Kal and Gamal) has impressed in the tournaments he’s entered recently. Cyrus Pattinson is similarly an international new comer and he too has been selected at 69kgs.
Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams leads the women’s team at 51kgs. Chantelle Cameron is selected at lightweight and 2012 World gold medallist Savannah Marshall goes at 75kgs.
The super-heavyweight spot was fiercely contested between Joe Joyce and Frazer Clarke and it is Joyce, the 2015 European Games gold and World championship bronze medallist who gets the nod.
Muhammad Ali boxes at 52kgs, Qais Ashfaq at 56kgs, European champ Joe Cordina at 60kgs, Pat McCormack at 64kgs, Antony Fowler at 75kgs, Joshua Buatsi at 81kgs and Lawrence Okolie at 91kgs.
GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said: “The boxers’ preparations have been very good with a number of training camps and competitions over the last six months and we have selected those that the senior coaches and I feel are in the best form and are deserving of this opportunity to qualify for Rio.
“For some of the boxers that have missed out on selection for the first qualifier there is a big incentive to maintain their form and performance and try to get themselves picked for the other qualification events later this year.
“The Olympic qualification process for boxing is tough. There is no doubt that this will be a difficult tournament, as the competition is stiff and there are not too many qualification places available, however this is a talented group of boxers and I am confident that if they can maintain the standards of performance they have shown recently then they will give themselves every chance of securing a place at Rio.”