International Boxing Association (AIBA) President C K Wu labelled the 2015 World Boxing Championships as the "best ever" after they came to a close here in Qatar’s capital.
Following the conclusion of the 10-day event, which saw Cuba top the medal standings with four gold medals, Wu was full of praise for the first edition of the World Championships to be held in the Middle East.
A total of 258 of the world’s best boxers from 74 countries and five continents competed as 10 world champions were crowned and 23 Olympic qualification spots for Rio 2016 sealed.
"This has been a huge step for the global development of boxing," he said during his Closing Ceremony speech.
"Bringing the AIBA World Boxing Championships to Qatar and the Middle East for the first time in history was really special, and it was tremendous to see the local communities in Doha coming out in their thousands to see the best boxers battle to be crowned world champions.
"The organisers have been first class, from the spectacular arena to the incredible facilities for our boxers and the full logistical side of the event.
"Doha has really set a new benchmark for the AIBA World Championships, and I think it is safe to say that this was the best ever."
Yousuf Ali Al-Kazim, President of Qatar Boxing Federation and executive director of the Organising Committee, claimed the World Championships have "once again amplified Qatar’s ability to host major international sports events".
He added: "Thanks to the global sports hub that is Doha and the abundance of experience that lives within the capital, we have effortlessly welcomed the global boxing elite to the state-of-the-art Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena for this marquee event.
"None of this would have been possible without the hard work by the Local Organising Committee who has planned everything to perfection.
"Tonight, all departments and all volunteers can be immensely proud of themselves.
"Together we have made history; together we have showed the world how much the State of Qatar loves the noble art of boxing.
"Thanks to your impeccable work ethic and attention to detail, Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships will leave a lasting legacy for years to come."
Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, the reigning heavyweight world champion, was among those in attendance during the final session yesterday, along with brother Vitali, a former heavyweight world champion now turned politician.
The winner of the super heavyweight gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Wladimir wished the boxers heading to Rio 2016 the best of luck.
"I didn’t expect to see these World Championships being played out in such a fantastic venue, but it was a great and beautiful experience," said the 39-year-old, whose next world heavyweight title fight is scheduled to be against Great Britain’s Tyson Fury on November 28 in Düsseldorf.
"I remember competing in the Olympics 20 years ago, which was something that completely changed my life."
The Klitschko brothers followed fellow superstar boxers Manny Pacquaio of the Philippines and Britain’s Amir Khan in visiting the World Championships, which claimed to have attracted 500 million viewers worldwide.
Russia came closest to matching Cuba’s leading gold medal haul with two, while Azerbaijan, France, Ireland and Morocco claimed one apiece.
The next edition of the World Championships is due to be held in Hamburg in 2017.
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