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IOC Rejects Pacquiao’s Bid To Compete at the 2024 Olympics

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will not take part in the 2024 Paris Olympics, following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to decline his application due to age restrictions.

Despite having retired, Manny Pacquiao has expressed interest in returning from retirement specifically for the Olympic boxing event set to occur at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris.

The Philippines attempted to secure a spot for Pacquiao in the Olympics through a “universality” slot, typically reserved for nations lacking a sufficient number of Olympic participants, hoping it would allow him to join the competition.

Pacquiao, who is 45, made an appeal last year for the IOC to consider relaxing the age limit of 40 for the Olympics.

James McLeod, the IOC’s Director for Relations with National Olympic Committees, informed the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) of the organization’s final decision.

According to Rappler, the IOC communicated to the POC that it intends to stick to its existing rules, which allow only those boxers younger than 40 to compete, thereby ruling out Pacquiao from qualification.

“It’s 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 “Bambol” Tolentino said in a statement.

Pacquiao, who ended his professional boxing career in 2021, mentioned last year that the only achievement missing from his distinguished 26-year career was competing in the Olympics.

He recounted his early rejection from the Philippine team when he moved to Manila, motivated by his dream to win an Olympic gold medal despite being told he wasn’t skilled enough.

While Pacquiao won’t be seen in the upcoming Summer Olympics, fans can anticipate his return to the ring for the announced rematch against Floyd Mayweather in Japan.

The Philippines had a delegation of 17 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, engaging in various individual sports. Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo made history by winning the country’s first Olympic gold, while boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio secured silver medals.

Eumir Marcial was among the initial qualifiers in boxing, earning a bronze medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.