Reigning Champions Claressa Shields and Roniel Iglesias secure Olympic qualification in Buenos Aires

March 18th, 2016 / IBA

The seventh day of Olympic qualification for the Americas took place in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Among the big names to make it through the semi-finals and secure their place at Rio 2016 were reigning Olympic Champions Claressa Shields of the USA and Cuban number one Roniel Iglesias.

Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez had already eliminated Ecuadorian number one seed Carlos Quipo in the light flyweight quarter-finals, and after beating Dominican Republic’s Victor Daniel Santillan on Thursday afternoon he now meets Nico Hernandez in Friday’s final after the American overcame home favourite Leandro Blanc.

Another Ecuadorian favourite Marlo Delgado also went out at the semi-final stage as he lost to Mexico’s WSB star Misael Rodriguez at middleweight. Rodriguez will face American Charles Conwell for the gold medal, while Cuban heavyweight Erislandy Savon booked his place in Rio after beating Brazil’s Juan Nogueira to set up a final against Argentina’s Yamil Alberto Peralta. Trinidad and Tobago’s Nigel Paul’s first taste of Olympic action is guaranteed just two years since first taking up the sport, after he beat Argentine Kevin Espindola.

In the women’s competition, Canada’s Pan-American Games champion Mandy Bujold booked her place in Rio with a win over Brazil’s Grazieli Jesus De Sousa, and she will now box for gold on Saturday against Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia, who inflicted a surprise defeat  on the American Virginia Fuchs.

I had to make a few adjustments in the first round to get my distance down but once I was able to do that I felt good. I kept my focus and made sure I won each round. Now that I am qualified I can go into the final without any stress so I am looking forward to a good bout on Saturday,” said Canada’s Mandy Bujold after her semi-final win.

United States’ lightweight Mikaela Mayer beat Puerto Rico’s Kiria Tapia to set up a final against Mexican Victoria Torres, while US icon Claressa Shields beat Dominican Republic’s Yenebier Guillen for a place in Saturday’s middleweight final against Canadian double AIBA World Champion Ariane Fortin.

At the start of the evening session, United States’ WSB Season VI star Shakur Stevenson secured his Olympic berth with another big win, this time over Venezuela’s Jose Diaz, who’s compatriot Luis Angel Cabrera looked in devastating form against Canada’s David Gauthier, his powerful hitting ended their lightweight bout before the final bell. Cabrera will meet Teofimo Lopez in Saturday’s final after the Honduran beat home favourite Ignacio Perrin in the second semi-final.

Canada’s number one Arthur Biyarslanov secured his Olympic place with a win over Guatemalan 20-year-old Carlos Tobar at light welterweight, while two more Venezuelans, Gabriel Maestre and Albert Ramon Ramirez landed their quota places at welterweight and light heavyweight respectively. Cuba’s reigning Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias beat Argentine Alberto Ignacio Palmetta to set up his final against Maestre on Saturday, while Ramirez will meet Ecuador’s Carlos Andres Mina.