Five Venezuelan boxers keep dreams alive of Olympic ticket

Caracas, March 17 (IANS) Venezuelan boxers Luis Cabrera, Albert Ramirez, Luis Arcon and Gabriel Maestre have qualified for the Pre-Olympic semifinals on Wednesday in Buenos Aires, after defeating their opponents in the quarter-finals.

The tournament will grant 30 tickets (25 for men and five for women) to the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the bet athletes, reports Xinhua.

The first one to go through on Wednesday was Cabrera in the 60 kilograms category. He won by default against Trinidad and Tobago’s Michael Alexander.

Ramirez went through to the semi-finals after defeating Chile’s Julio Alamos in the 81 kilograms category.

Arcon went through to the next round on Wednesday evening when he won over Rashiels Williams from the Bahamas in the 64 kilograms category.

Maestre was the last into the ring on Wednesday evening and he defeated Ecuador’s Gustiniano Mina 3-0 in the 69 kilograms category.

With these victories, the four fighters are just a win away from qualifying for the Olympic Games 2016 as they need to get to the final to be given a ticket.

Jose Diaz, who went through to the semi-finals on Tuesday, is also very close to participating in the Olympics. Diaz defeated Haiti’s Sadam Fevry in the 56 kilograms category.

On Wednesday afternoon, Angelino Cordoba was the first Venezuelan boxer to take to the ring. He lost 0-3 to Miguel Hernandez from the United States in the 49 kilograms category. Yoel Finol, (52kg) was also defeated in the evening by Leonel de los Santos from the Dominican Republic.

Organised and endorsed by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the tournament has brought together 241 boxers from 34 countries, a record number.

Apart from the Pre-Olympic tournament in Argentina, there are still two more qualifying events for men; one from the World Series Boxing (WSB) and the AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) in Sofia between May 13 and 22, and the other in Baku between June 7 and 19.

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