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Thursday | May 10, 2012
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Jamaican boxers eliminated from Olympic qualifier
Leroy Brown, Star Writer

News that Jamaican light heavyweight boxer Jonathan Hanson had qualified for the London Olympics at the qualifying tournament taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, turned out to be a false alarm. Hanson made it to the quarter-finals, but like the other two boxers who accompanied him, Michael Gardener and Aljermaine Burnett, he was also eliminated.

At the qualifying event taking place in Rio, 38 places are up for grabs in the 10 weight categories, and from this four places were allotted to the light heavyweights. By reaching the quarter-finals by way of a bye and then a victory over Jean Pierre Augustin from Haiti, he moved to within one victory of qualifying for London.

This was not to be however, as he lost in the quarter-finals to Central American Championships silver medal winner Osmar Bravo on points 9-2, and it was therefore Bravo not Hanson who qualified for the Games.

excellent training camp

The tournament was a nightmare for young Michael Gardener who went to Rio with high hopes after his excellent training camp in Wales that was sponsored in full by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in their Road to London programme. Gardener failed to make it past the scales as he was overweight and therefore eliminated.

He did not even have the opportunity to move up to the next weight class, as is allowed if a nation does not have another entry in that division. Sitting there in the middleweight division however, was Canadian-based Jamaican Aljermaine Burnett, who made the weight comfortably.

He also drew a first-round bye and a victory by him over Enrique Collazo from Puerto Rico would have given him an instalment on his ticket to London. He faltered however, and was eliminated on points 15-9 by Collazo. It was therefore down and out for the three Jamaican boxers.

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