Mohammad Al-Wadi secured a storming quarter-final win at a raucous Prince Hamzeh Hall to become the fifth Jordanian boxer to book a place at this summer Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games through the Asian/Oceanian qualifying event being held in Amman until Wednesday.
With a last four place good enough to secure Olympic qualification, Al-Wadi overturned a first round deficit to win the judges’ decision against Korea’s Sangmyeong Ham, and join teammates, Hussein and Zeyad Ishaish, Odai Al-Hindawi and Obada Al-Kesbeh on the plane to Japan this summer.
“I have worked solidly for four years for this,” he said. “I haven’t seen my family for a month because we have all trained so hard for our Olympic dream. This is it now. I want to go on and win a gold medal. The crowd was amazing. Thank-you to everyone for coming out to see me. I have made you proud I hope.”
Al-Wadi’s astonishing performance has earned him a Featherweight 57kg semi-final date with Vietnam’s big hitting Van Duong Nguyen on Tuesday. The other semi-final will feature World Champion, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, of Uzbekistan, and Serik Temirzhanov, of Kazakhstan.
Earlier in the evening session, six-time World Champion Mary Kom silenced her doubters by securing a semi-final berth, guaranteeing a place for this summer’s Games.
The 37-year-old, who won her first world title back in 2002, and her most recent in 2018, says she is now determined to train hard and avoid injury to make an impact in Tokyo after beating The Philippines’ Irish Magno.
“I deserve this because I have faced so many challenges,” said Kom. “I have had to put up with a lot of negativity with people saying I would never make it back after marriage, having children and so on. But I have shown them who I am and what I can do.”
She will next fight another former World Champion, Yuan Chang, of China, in the last four of the women’s Flyweight 51kg division.
Meanwhile, reigning World Champion and top seed, Hasiao-Wen Huang, of Chinese Taipei, secured her Olympic passage courtesy of a win over Uzbekistan’s Tursunoy Rakhimova, and she will fight Japan’s fourth seed Tsukimi Namiki next in Tuesday’s the semi-final.
There was a huge upset in the women’s Lightweight 60kg category with top seed Anja Stridsman losing to Korea’s Yeonji Oh who will go through to Tokyo 2020 alongside her semi-final opponent, Sudaporn Seesondee, of Thailand, who beat Raykhona Kodirova.
The other side of the draw will see third seed, Shih-Yi Wu, fight Simranjit Baath, of India, in the last four after they recorded victories over Riza Pasuit and number two seed, Namuun Monkhor, respectively.
On day seven, a total of 24 boxers booked their Tokyo 2020 berths courtesy of reaching the semi-finals. The break down was as follows: