After tasting gold medal success at Gold Coast 2018 for Team England, boxers Galal Yafai and Peter McGrail could be on the road to more medal glory after qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
First to book his place on the plane was Galal Yafai, who beat Russian Rasul Saliev by unanimous decision at Men’s Flyweight division (Under 52kg) to secure his ticket to Tokyo. Galal, follows in the footsteps of his older brothers Khalid and Gamal, who are both successful professional boxers and were previously members of the GB Boxing squad.
“I always give it my best and today I showed that,” said the Birmingham based boxer. “I’m buzzing to come out with the win and my ticket for Tokyo.”
The other successful Team England athlete at the Copper Box Arena in London, was Peter McGrail who beat Kevin Godla from the Czech Republic - also on a unanimous decision - in the Men’s Featherweight class (Under 57kg), to secure his place in Japan.
The Everton Red Triangle boxer said, “I knew in the back of my mind I was good enough, and now I can tell people I’m actually going to the Olympics!”
Despite Yafai and McGrail making the Olympics, the event succumbed to the fate of what many other sporting events have suffered in the past few weeks as the rest of the qualifying tournament was suspended. A statement released by the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) said:
“Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority for the BTF.
“The decision to suspend the event today was taken amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home.
“The BTF will continue to evaluate the situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June, and it will inform all stakeholders as soon as more information is available.”
Team England wish Galal and Peter all the best in their preparation for Tokyo.