Hakan Erseker became the first Qatari boxer to qualify for the Rio Olympics, booking his berth by reaching the quarterfinal of the Olympic quota event in Baku, Ajerbaijan, last week.
Qatar had fielded two other pugilists, Thulasi Tharumalingam (64kg) and Hakan Nuraydin (81kg), but only Erseker, who contested in the 60kg lightweight category, could make the cut.
Erseker, 21, beat Thailand’s Pachanya Longchin in the round of 32 and followed it up with a win against Georgia’s European Confederation Championships silver medallist Otar Eranosyan. However, he failed to maintain the tempo, losing to eventual winner Enrico La Cruz of the Netherlands in the last eight.
A total of 469 boxers from 105 countries fought for the 39 Olympic quota places in different categories.
The first qualification event for Rio 2016 was last year’s AIBA World Championships held in Doha.
“It’s a historic moment for us. We’ve been watching Erseker’s progress. We’re thrilled to know that our country will be represented at the Olympics in our sport,” said Qatar Boxing Federation President Yousef Al Kazim, who added that it would also send entries to the July 3-8 Olympic quota event in Venezuela.