Rahimova and Rüstamov set for Olympic qualifying. OLYMPIC.AZ

Boxers Zeynab Rahimova and Ümid Rüstamov continue their pursuit of Paris 2024. Both have progressed, with Rahimova through to the round of 16 and Rüstamov to the Round of 32, which will take place in Italy on 7-8 March.

The Italian town of Busto Arsizio (province of Varese, near Milan) continues to host exciting boxing action as part of the World Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament. On the second day of the competition, two athletes from the Azerbaijan national team joined the fray with significant victories, boosting their hopes of participating in the Paris 2024 Games from 26 July to 11 August 2024.

Boxers Zeynab Rahimova faced Algeria's Fatma Zohra Hadjala in the round of 16. The 54kg bout ended in victory for Azerbaijan's Rahimova, who defeated her opponent 4-1 (29:28, 30:27, 29:29, 30:27, 28:29) to book her place in the last sixteen. In the next round, she will meet Aqerie Bayev of Ethiopia, who advanced from the first round. The fight is scheduled for 7 March. Ümid Rüstamov (57kg) celebrated an early victory. He defeated Navvaf Alzahmi of the United Arab Emirates in the first round with a convincing knockout. He will test his mettle against Kenya's Bakari Hassan in the round of 32. The fight is scheduled for 8 March.

The tournament got off to a positive start for Azerbaijan, with 51kg boxer Nicat Hüseynov also progressing after winning his bout on the first day of competition. 

Boxing will play a prominent role in the 33rd Olympic Games of the modern era, starting the day after the Opening Ceremony, which will be held outside a closed stadium for the first time. The exciting fights are scheduled to take place from 27 July to 4 August, with a total of 248 boxers competing at Paris 2024, ensuring gender equality with 124 female and 124 male athletes. 

As the host country, France has secured six automatic places for the Olympic Games, three for men and three for women, while the remaining boxers, including those from Azerbaijan, will have to earn their right to participate through qualifying tournaments, such as those currently taking place in Italy.