Promising boxers Florence May Oliveros and Gena Casin will see action in the 2017 Women’s Youth World Championships at the Nabin Chandra Indoor Stadium – Sarusajai Sports Complex in Guwahati, India.
Oliveros will compete in the women’s light weight category (60 kgs.) while Casin tests her mettle in the women’s lightweight (45-48 kgs.) in the event sanctioned by the International Boxing Association that drew a total of 186 boxers from 38 countries.
The 17-year old Oliveros battles Russian Tatiana Konstantinova in the first round while Casin earned an opening-round bye to automatically advance to the second round.
Casin, a Cagayan de Oro City pride, will be meeting Karina Tuvakova of Russia who also got a first-round bye.
Joining Oliveros and Casin in the lean Philippine delegation are coaches Roel Velasco, a Barcelona Olympics bronze medalist, and former Asian Championship gold winner Mitchell Martinez.
Recently, the national senior women’s boxing team also mentored by Velasco failed to win a medal in the 2017 Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) Asian Women’s Boxing Championships held at the Nguyen Du Gymnasium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
And Velasco wants to bounce back from a forgettable finish in the Asian meet.
Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and host India have the most number of entries with 10 each while Ireland and the United States got eight boxers each, Turkey has seven, and Poland, Hungary, Germany, England, Uzbekistan, Chinese-Taipei, Mongolia and China entered six apiece.
The tournament will also serve as qualifying event for the Third Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina next year.
Four slots – flyweight (48-51), featherweight (54-57), lightweight (57-60) and middleweight (69-75) – are at stake for the Youth Olympics. EMIL C. NOGUERA