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Pacquiao, 45, Respects IOC’s Decision On Age Limit For Olympic Boxers

5 months ago By Jhon Woug

Even so, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has refused special permission for Manny Pacquiao to enter the 2024 Paris Olympics, though he is considered a boxing legend as a Filipino athlete. The efforts of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to include him were futile, and this was because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had age eligibility limits for him to participate in the Olympic event because he was at an advanced age of 45 years old.

In 2013, the IOC revised the age limit for boxers from 34 to 40. In general, classes are not determined depending on age, and the sport’s federation operating as an IOC member has authority to regulate age limits. Nevertheless, Pacquiao was disqualified from competing in the Paris Games at the age of forty by boxing having set an upper threshold age limit.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), in an attempt to get the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), made its final appeal this year, and its only objective was to have Pacquiao added to their team for the 2024 Olympics.

The POC chose to use the universality rule, which allows the underrepresented teams of the country to let Pacquiao’s participation be the sufficient reason for their participation. But, in spite of the fact that the actions that were carried out by the committee to help such a cause were effective, all the restrictions that were imposed on the age limit during the games undermined all the hopes that some individuals may have had for it.

Through his anger, Abraham Tolentino, from POC, stressed that athletes compete in qualifiers before their Olympic debut. However, the POC’s stand was being undermined because of the strict IOC decision on the age limit rules.

James McLeod, who is the director of Olympic committees with responsibilities for maintaining relations with national Olympic committees, explained the basics of universality spots.

He explained that if, during every Olympic Games, the National Olympic Committee from which he spoke had participated in eight or more athletic events or disciplines, it would not meet eligibility criteria. Hence, even though the Philippine Olympic Team has 17 players competing in competitive sports individually at the Olympics held in Tokyo, Pacquiao does not have any effect of it, and he is not part of that ruling limit.

When POC’s appeal was unsuccessful, Pacquiao posted a statement that acquitted him of the IOC decision. Manny Pacquiao retired from boxing in 2021 to fully focus on his governmental activities and his bid to become the president of the Philippines. He still respected and admired the age limit rules as well as the position the Olympic Committee had taken.

Pacquiao’s wish to compete in the Olympics has been thwarted. However, there are four amazing Filipino athletes that are able to qualify for the Paris Games. A pole vaulter, EJ Obiena (ranked #2 in the world); gymnasts, Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan; and boxer, Eumir Marcial, will all carry the flag of their country at this grand international event. Although Pacquiao won’t be there, the athletes who excellently qualify will display great pride in carrying the national flag at such a large event.

Akin to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, i.e., the Olympic Games, the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics will unite top-class athletes from different geographical locations. Given his low traditional ranking, his name may not be among them, but his imprint in boxing and sports in the Philippines remains indelible, leaving marks for the coming generations.

Nevertheless, the IOC’s reaction to Manny Pacquiao’s expressed will to visit Paris and join the boxing competition at the 2024 Olympic Games was to politely disagree with him on legal grounds constantly used against older boxers. The upcoming Paris Olympics are drawing much excitement in the realm of sports, where a delegation of extraordinarily skilled and talented athletes from the Philippines will be representing their country and leaving each of their fantastic performances etched on the grand stage of the Olympics.

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