KITCHENER – Boxer Mandy Bujold’s agonizing wait to learn if she’s going to the Olympics will have to continue for another week.
The International Olympic Committee’s tripartite commission is expected to announce the four wild cards awarded in the three Olympic weight classes next Monday, June 11.
Bujold, who lost her first and only bout at the Olympic qualifying tournament in China last month, has been stuck in limbo ever since. She’s hoping she’ll be chosen as the wild card for the Americas region in the 51-kg category.
But Boxing Canada executive director Robert Crete appears to be dampening her hopes.
The national boxing federation initially only submitted the name of Mary Spencer, the 75-kg former world champion from Windsor, as a Canadian to be considered for a wild card, he said.
After complaints from Bujold’s coach Rick Cadilha and the coach of Quebec’s Sandra Bizier, the names of the two other fighters were added.
Boxing Canada has no vote in the wild card decision, Crete stressed. The Olympic tripartite commission will be looking at international track records — and Spencer, as three-time world champ, is the obvious front runner, he said.
“The easiest candidate to sell was Mary,” he said. “And we have to be realistic. They will not be selecting two people from the same country.”
Bujold has argued a scoring mishap may have cost her the fight in China against Korea’s Hye Song Kim, and a chance at an Olympic berth. But Crete says Boxing Canada has reviewed the match and won’t be filing a grievance.
Kim, a silver medalist the 2011 world championships, was announced as winner by a score of 11-9 after a long post-fight delay in which Bujold started celebrating.
What Bujold says was a problem with a computerized scoring system was actually just a problem with the video screen showing points during the match, Crete said. Points were still recorded as they should have been, even if the fighters couldn’t see them, he said.
“When they printed out the scoring, all the points were there. It was just the video that wasn’t working,” Crete said. “It was just a glitch with the screens more than anything else. That’s why there was no protest from us.”
He also cautions against assuming any Canadians will get the wild card berths. They’re traditionally given to athletes from “underdeveloped countries,” he said, or nations that send a small number of people to the Olympics.
Bujold, the seven-time national champion and Pan American Games gold medalist, has said the competition for the Americas wild card should come down to her and two other fighters in her weight division — Paula Benevidez of Argentina and Brazil’s Erica Matos. She’s beaten both fighters before.
Bujold is currently ranked 19th in the world, according to the International Boxing Association. Benevidez is ranked 14th and Matos is ranked 22nd.