|Bahamian boxers fail to qualify for Olympics|
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: May 09, 2012
After months of preparation and training, including a specialized intense program in the United Kingdom, The Bahamas’ top two amateur fighters will return home empty handed this week.
Bahamian boxers Valentino Knowles and Carl Hield lost their opening bouts of the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) American Olympic Qualifying Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, failing to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in London, England. Knowles and Hield were aiming to become just the second Bahamian duo to represent The Bahamas at the highest level of amateur boxing - the Olympic Games - joining Nat Knowles and Gary Davis who accomplished the feat 40 years ago. This would have been the first time that two Bahamian boxers actually qualified, but both Knowles and Hield came up short in their bids.
Knowles, the reigning Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games Champion, fell to Anderson David Rojas Mina, from Ecuador, 13-9, in their opening match, on Sunday, and Hield lost in a 14-7 decision to Prichard Colon Melandez, from Puerto Rico, in their opening match.
For Knowles, his 64 kg. class match with Rojas Mina was tied 3-3 after the first round; he was outscored 4-3 in the second round, and doubled up 6-3 in round three. Hield trailed early and often in his match against Colon Melandez. He fell behind 6-3 after the opening round, was outscored 5-3 in the second round, and out-slugged 3-1 in the third round.
Both boxers were unavailable for comment. They were looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Bahamian Taureano Johnson who qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games four years ago. Johnson advanced all the way to the quarter-finals, and finished the year as the fifth ranked welterweight in the world.
This year’s Olympic Games are set for July 27 - August 12 in London, England.