THULASI Tharumalingam became the second boxer from Qatar, after Hakan Erseker, to book his berth at the Rio Olympics, to be held from August 5 to 21.
Thulasi made the cut last week by beating Argentina’s Carlos Aquino in the men’s light welterweight (64kg) category semifinal at the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Event in Vargas, Venezuela. Thulasi, who won the semifinal bout by unanimous decision, however, lost to Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov in the final.
“It was a hard road, but I’m so happy that I’ll be going to Rio and represent Qatar at the Olympics. I remember all the people who supported me. A big thanks to my family which stood with me in all my decisions,” said Thulasi. “I also congratulate Hakan on his qualification. He increased my self-belief and motivated me.”
Thulasi and other boxers who participated at the Vargas event were accorded a warm welcome on their return to Doha. Qatar Boxing Federation President Yousuf Ali Al Kazim and many other officials were present at the Hamad International Airport to congratulate the winner.
Qatar is getting ready to send its biggest ever contingent to the Brazilian city.
More than 40 Qataris have already qualified in athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, equestrian, handball, shooting, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.