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IOC denies Manny Pacquiao's Paris Olympics request

IOC denies Manny Pacquiao's Paris Olympics request

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has denied Manny Pacquiao his request to see action in the 2024 Paris Olympics as the Filipino boxer is already above the age limit.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) bared the development on Sunday after receiving a formal letter from IOC barring the eight-division world champion from the Summer Games. Pacquiao is already 45 years old, five years above the age regulation of 40.

“Too bad our beloved boxing icon is disqualified because of his age and that everyone needs to go through qualifiers, in all sports, to be able to participate in Paris,” POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said in a statement.

In the letter, James Macleod, IOC Director for National Olympic Committee Relations, stressed that their office had already sent out to different national olympic committees (NOCs) and boxing federations the qualification system for the Paris Games, which included the age limit of 40.

POC added that Pacquiao can't also qualify to the Olympics through the Universality rule, which is awarded to national athletes who didn't punch tickets through normal qualifiers.

Under the Universality rule, NOCs that had an average of more than eight athletes in individual sport or discipline in the last two Olympics editions (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020) won't be allocated the universality places, Macleod stressed.

In Tokyo alone, the country sent 19 athletes, all in individual sporting events, with Hidilyn Diaz claiming the country's first-ever gold medal after ruling the women's 55kg weightlifting category.

“The Universality places for the Olympic Games will not be allocated to NOCs with an average of more than eight [08] athletes in individual sports/disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games [Rio and Tokyo],” Macleod said.

For the Paris Games, a total of 248 boxers can compete with 124 athletes each for men and women's divisions. Nine Universality places will also be handed out, five for women and four for men.

In the previous Summer Games, four boxers saw action with Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam bagging silver medals while Eumir Marcial took home the bronze medal. 

The Philippines already has four qualified athletes for the Paris Games: pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxer Eumir Marcial, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan.

—Bea Micaller/JKC, GMA Integrated News