By Tom Degun 

Qinhuangdao_ready_to_host_the_world_of_womens_boxing_in_2012_26-09-11September 28 - The Chinese city of Qinhuangdao has launched a countdown clock to the start of the 2012 International Boxing Association (AIBA) Women's World Boxing Championships which they will host next year from May 21 to June 3.

The clock was unveiled in Qinhuangdao at a ceremony attended by AIBA President C K Wu (pictured centre, left of Chang Jianping, AIBA vice president and President of the Chinese Boxing Association), Chinese Olympic Committee vice President Duan Shijie and the Mayor of Qinhuangdao City Zhu Haowen (pictured left).

There are now less than 250 days to go until the event begins and the competition will take on added significance as it will act as a qualifier for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

London 2012 will be the first time ever women's boxing has appeared as a medal event at the Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to include the sport back in 2009.

Wu, who is also an IOC Member, believes the competition in China will be the best women's World Championships ever.

"There is a lot more interest in the sport of women's boxing now that it is on the Olympic programme and will feature at the London 2012 Olympics," Wu told insidethegames.

"Women's boxing is one of the most exciting sports to watch and I'm sure the competition in Qinhuangdao will be even better than the 2010 Women's World Championships in Barbados which was the best we have had.

"It is also the biggest qualifying event for the Olympics and takes place shortly before the Games begin so the standard will be very high."

At the Olympics, there will be three weight categories for women, which will be flyweight (48-51kg), lightweight (57-60kg) and middleweight (69-75kg).

However, the World Championships features ten categories from light flyweight (46-49kg) to super heavyweight (over 81kg).

Ireland's Katie Taylor (pictured left) will undoubtedly be the one to watch at the event, as well as at London 2012, as the 25-year-old lightweight from County Wicklow is the triple world champion and reigning AIBA World Female Boxer of the Year.

There will also be a strong English contingent in Qinhuangdao such as flyweight Nicola Adams and middleweight Savannah Marshall, both of who claimed silver medals at the last 2010 World Championships in Barbados.

The event will be the seventh edition of the competition, which made its debut at Pennsylvania, United States, in 2001.

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