If Ugandan national team boxers, the Bombers, manage to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they will not be draped in headgear.
No Ugandan boxer has so far qualified for the 2016 Olympics but the Bombers are set to participate in competitions in preparation for the July Summer Games, with the only remaining hope a scheduled Association of International Boxing Association (AIBA) African Olympic qualifier on the cards, slated for March 9-20 in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde.
By press time EagleOnline had failed to get comment about the new change on headgear from the Bombers’ coach Dick Katende.
This is the first time in 32 years that male boxers will be able trade punches without any headgear after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sanctioned a change introduced by world boxing federation, AIBA.
AIBA adopted the change for amateur fighters some three years ago but needed to bring it to the IOC Executive Board, which noted it without objection yesterday, essentially rubber-stamping the decision.
The IOC said AIBA had presented medical research that showed concussions were less likely to occur without headgear than with.
“AIBA provided medical and technical data that showed the number of concussions is lower without headgear,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, and added: “They have done a lot of research in the last three years. The rule will go ahead for Rio.”
Boxers have been wearing headguards since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, with the last Games without them in Moscow in 1980.
Women boxers, who first competed at the 2012 Olympics in London, will continue wearing their protective gear.