India's Mary Kom is one the 10 athletes ambassadors appointed ©Getty Images

Ten athlete ambassadors have been appointed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) boxing taskforce to engage with boxers prior to Tokyo 2020.

The ambassadors comprise of two athletes per continent, with one male and female per region.

The boxing taskforce say the athletes will take on a role in engaging with athletes in person and digitally during the preparations for the Olympic Games.

It is claimed the ambassadors will provide the boxing taskforce with the athletes’ views on the qualification events for the Olympics and the tournament itself at the Games.

Nigeria’s Lukmo Lawal and Morocco’s Khadija Mardi have been appointed as the ambassadors for Africa, while Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz Peraza and the United States’ Mikaela Mayer take the roe for the Americas.

China’s Jianguan Hu and India’s Mary Kom were chosen for the Asian region, with Europe’s representatives consisting of Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko and France’s Sarah Ourahmoune.

Oceania’s athlete representatives will by New Zealand’s David Nyika and Australia’s Shelley Watts.

“In all of the work of the boxing taskforce we want to put boxers first,” said Morinari Watanabe, IOC member and taskforce chair.

“We are delighted with this group of diverse and inspirational athletes who make up the athlete ambassadors, and look forward to working closely with them in all areas of our decisions and event planning to make sure the athletes are not only at the centre of our work, but also actively engaged in it.”

Boxing taskforce chair Morinari Watanabe says the ambassadors will ensure athletes are engaged with plans ©Getty Images
Boxing taskforce chair Morinari Watanabe says the ambassadors will ensure athletes are engaged with plans ©Getty Images

The IOC say the athletes were selected following a joint nomination by the respective National Olympic Committee (NOC), NOC Athletes’ Commissions and national federations.

Requirements included having competed at international competitions in the past four years, being born no later than 31 December 2001 and being an amateur or professional boxer.

The ambassadors also had to have no record of having incurred any sanction in relation to any violation of the Olympic Charter, the IOC Code of Ethics, the World Anti-Doping Code or other applicable regulations used by federations or NOCs.

The IOC say the candidates had to have engaging personalities to be able to communicate effectively with the boxing athlete community, understand their issues and help the taskforce.

“The role of the athletes is more important than ever in sport, and having a truly global and gender equal group of incredible boxers puts the athletes at the centre of our work on the Boxing Road to Tokyo,” said Aya Mahmoud Medany, IOC Athletes’ Commission member and member of the boxing taskforce.

“I am looking forward to working with them and engaging with boxers from around the world each step of the way to Tokyo.”

A new judge monitoring system has been in place during the Tokyo 2020 test event here ©Getty Images
A new judge monitoring system has been in place during the Tokyo 2020 test event here ©Getty Images

The taskforce is overseeing the qualification events and boxing tournament for next year’s Olympics.

It was placed in charge of preparations following the IOC’s decision to suspend the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in June.

It followed concerns over AIBA's governance, refereeing and judging and financial situation, with the IOC claiming the crisis presented "serious legal, financial and reputational risks to the IOC and the Olympic Movement".

Regional Olympic qualification events are due to run from February to April, with boxers who have failed to seal a place at Tokyo 2020 having one last chance at the final qualifier in Paris from May 13 to 24.

The taskforce is also overseeing the Tokyo 2020 test event, which concludes at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan venue today.

A new monitoring system for judges has operated for the final two days of the test event, in a bid to help restore the confidence of boxers and coaches.

The system will see judges’ scores updated in real time, enabling officials to see what the judge is reacting to during each bout.

This will be supported by broadcast footage and four cameras, located in the corners of the boxing ring.

It has been claimed the system may also be used to further the education of judges, while officials could be removed should their performances prove unsatisfactory.

The IOC hope the system will help to ensure consistency in judging throughout the duration of the boxing competitions.