Dismay expressed over IOC decision barring Pacquiao from Olympics
Dismay expressed over IOC decision barring Pacquiao from Olympics
Dismay expressed over IOC decision barring Pacquiao from Olympics
by Kristan Carag22 February 2024
Boxing - WBA Welterweight Title Fight - Manny Pacquiao v Lucas Matthysse - Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - July 15, 2018 Manny Pacquiao celebrates after winning the bout against Lucas Matthysse. Picture taken July 15, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin/File Photo

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) expressed dismay over the decision that bars Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao from competing in the Olympics.

In a letter to the POC, the International Olympic Committee denied the appeal to allow Pacquiao, the lone eight-division world boxing champion, to compete in the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

IOC stressed that Pacquiao, who celebrated his 45th birthday last December, no longer meets the 40-year old age limit for athletes participating in the Olympics, and he must also compete in qualifying tournaments to earn a spot in the Paris Games.

James McLeod, IOC Director for National Olympic Committee Relations, also shut down the chances of Pacquiao competing in the Paris Games under the Universality rule.


"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]," McLeod said in the letter.

The Philippines fielded 17 athletes, all in individual events, in the last Olympics that happened in Tokyo, Japan.

"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 Tolentino said on the response of the IOC.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao admitted that he felt saddened and disappointed by the decision of the IOC but stressed that he respects the decision of the international body.


"I respect the decision of the IOC regarding my request to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics," the Filipino boxing icon said in a statement.

"While I am very saddened and disappointed, I understand and accept the age-limit rules," he added.

As of writing, the Philippines only has four athletes who have qualified for the 33rd Olympics that will open on July 26 and end on August 11.

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