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Jamaica's light-heavyweight qualifies for London Olympics

Published:Monday | May 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

Jamaica's light-heavyweight boxer, Jonathan Hanson, booked his place for the Olympics in London after winning his qualifier in Brazil on the weekend.

Hanson was among three Jamaicans in Rio de Janiero at the 2012 American Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament, the final qualifying event for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Hanson, a 22-year-old security officer from Havendale, St Andrew, who fights out of the G4S Gym on East Avenue, was one of three Jamaican boxers in Brazil trying to secure spots for London.

Aljermaine Burnett, who fights out of the Dewith Frazer Gym in Canada, Hanson, and Michael Gardener from the Bruisin Gym, were the boxers on show for Jamaica.

Hanson's coach, Godfrey Collins, was elated at the news coming out of Brazil.

"I am really pleased. I am really proud of him and myself. A lot of hard work went into preparing. Now that we have qualified for the Olympics, we are going to have to work a lot harder in preparing for the Games," said Collins, a former boxer and boxing coach with the Jamaica Defence Force.

Disappointment for gardener

The news for Bruisin Gym's Gardener was not as good. Gardener, a talented 18-year-old welterweight from Stony Hill, was seen as a real prospect for Jamaica at the Olympics this year and was selected to attend a two-week International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) training camp in Cardiff, Wales, in February.

But in Brazil, all that he was exposed to in Cardiff meant nothing as he was unable to make the weight and was not allowed to compete.

Details on the reason for Gardener failing to make weight were not available.

Meanwhile, Felice Groves and coach Barrington Graham leave the island today for the World Championships to be held in Qinhuangdao, China, between May 12 and 19.

At the championships, Groves will also be trying to secure a place at the Olympic Games in London. Groves also attended the boxing camp in Cardiff in February.