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Tsukimi Namiki, Sena Irie become first Japanese female boxers to qualify for Olympics

Kyodo

Tsukimi Namiki and Sena Irie won their respective bouts at a Tokyo Games qualification meet on Monday, and are set to become the first female boxers from Japan to compete at an Olympics.

The 21-year-old Namiki defeated Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong in a unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the women’s flyweight competition at the Asia and Oceania qualifiers.

“I’m really relieved. But competing at the Olympics is not my biggest goal. Winning the gold medal is,” said Namiki, who started boxing in 2013.

Earlier in the day, Irie upset reigning world champion Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines to advance to the semifinals of the women’s featherweight division.

Women’s boxing has been contested at the Olympics since the 2012 London Games but this summer’s 2020 Games will be the first time Japan will enter female fighters.

The Asia and Oceania qualifiers were originally set for last month in Wuhan, China, but the competition was moved to Amman due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus in the city.

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