Following a 25-year wait, Guyana will be represented at the Olympics in the discipline of Boxing, with Keevin Allicock’s qualification for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was revealed that Keevin Allicock – the 22-year-old who hails from Albouystown, Georgetown and is being trained by Coach Sebert Blake – has been given the green light to the Olympic Games.
The bantamweight pugilist has long been tipped for Olympic qualification, following his stellar track record as an amateur boxer, which includes a silver medal in the Youth Commonwealth Games and a 19th place World Ranking in the Bantamweight class.
President of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), Steve Ninvalle, expressed his elation at Allicock’s achievement, and noted that his qualification is a result of hard work on the part of both the boxer and the Association.
“Well, obviously we are very happy that Keevin could have qualified for the Olympics. I think it’s the worst kept secret that, for 25 years, Guyana has not had a boxer that qualified for this event,” the GBA President stated.
Continuing, he said, “It was a lot of hard work on Keevin’s part. I think (that) on the part of the executives of the Guyana Boxing Association, we did our part also (in) getting him to the strategic and needed tournaments which would have allowed him to qualify.”
While explaining that the aim is now to have as much support for the amateur pugilist as possible for his preparation, Ninvalle shared the efforts that the GBA made in his qualification process.
“We will need all resources and all hands on deck if we are to get him anywhere near the medal rounds. This includes going to international training camps, which we are working on, as it is,” Ninvalle related.
On the topic of Allicock’s qualification, Ninvalle disclosed, “It just shows the need we have for exposing our boxers. In 2020 the Olympics were not kept, and in 2021 the qualifiers were not kept, so they had to go to the rankings. And we would have been able to pull that off through a tripartite request that the GBA would have sent in.
“Congratulations to Keevin! Congratulations to his Coach Sebert Blake! We intend to do the best that we can to make him very competitive in the upcoming Olympics,” Ninvalle concluded.
In extending gratitude, the GBA President verbalised his appreciation for the involvement of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) and the Government of Guyana.
“We would want to thank the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) for the support it would have given in getting Keevin to several tournaments, and we would also want to thank the Government of Guyana for being part of the backbone of getting us to these tournaments also,” he said.
To date, Guyana has copped only one Olympic Medal, which came at the Moscow Summer Games in 1980. Similar to Keevin Allicock, Michael Parris fought in the bantamweight division and secured a bronze medal at those Games. The last time that Guyana was represented in Boxing at the global event was in 1996, and that was by light heavyweight pugilist John Douglas.
Allicock joins table tennis player Chelsea Edghill and swimmers Andrew Fowler and Jamila Sanmoogan, who will all be heading to the Olympic Games.
On the Regional front, Allicock will be joined by boxers from Antigua, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago as they represent their respective countries in the discipline.