Lausanne, Switzerland, 29 October 2012 – The APB/WSB workshop in Incheon, South Korea, which sees the world’s best Referees & Judges take part in a five-day intensive training course, made history yesterday as seven of its finest were awarded 5-star status following a stringent selection process.
Michael Gallagher from Ireland, England’s Mik Basi, Kazakh Rakhymzhan Rysbayev, Mariusz Gorny from Poland, Russia’s Vladislav Malyshev, Argentinean Gerardo Poggi, and Mrs Kheira Sidi Yakoub from Algeria were all rewarded for their achievements and as the outstanding candidates for selection, were unveiled as the first ever AIBA 5-Star Referee & Judges by AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
“This is a significant moment in the history of our sport as we appoint the very first AIBA 5-Star Referees & Judges. We truly appreciate their long years of service and dedication to officiating during international Elite AIBA competitions”, Dr Wu said before adding, “These appointments mean that these R&Js are now full-time AIBA officials and we will be using their skills and knowledge on a regular basis at the very best Elite AOB, APB and WSB competitions, as well as for various trainings and educational programs”.
These seven officials were carefully selected by a panel of experts with the strict criteria of entry based on their qualifications (only 3-Star R&Js were considered), experience and career records. This 5-Star status qualifies them to:
officiate in Elite AOB (AIBA Olympic Boxing), APB (AIBA Professional Boxing) and WSB (World Series of Boxing) competitions;
take part in all AIBA meetings and events related to R&J aspects as a Presenter or Instructor;
act as an R&J Instructor for any educational program held in AIBA Academies, International, Continental and National R&J Seminar and conduct the examination to certify R&Js at different levels;
take part in developing the R&J examination, manuals, guidelines, etc.;
act as the R&J Captain at Elite AIBA Competitions;
act as an AIBA Ambassador to represent AIBA in all aspects related to R&J work.
Mik Basi, who took the Olympic Oath at London 2012 on behalf of all the officials at the Games’ Opening Ceremony, stated, “It is a huge privilege to become a 5-Star R&J and to be a part of this groundbreaking innovation by AIBA. I am very much looking forward to this new challenge”.
Kheira Sidi Yakoub, who boasts one of the best records in the world and refereed the Women’s Middleweight (75kg) final at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was overjoyed at receiving her certificate, beaming as she declared, “I am entirely ready for this mission, it is the culmination of all the hard work I have put into my career as a referee”.
Irishman Michael Gallagher, the recipient of the prestigious AIBA R&J of the Year award over the past two years, said of his appointment, “It is a fantastic honour to be a part of this group of elite referees, these are exciting times for AIBA with WSB Season III and the launch of APB next year”.
These views were shared by Kazakhstan’s Rakhymzhan Rysbayev, also one of the stand-out referees at the London 2012 Olympic Games as he added, “I have been officiating for 11 years and since AIBA’s new governance in 2006 there has been a lot of progress and innovation in boxing, also related to R&Js, it is a very positive movement”.
“To become a 5-Star R&J is the pinnacle of my career so far. AIBA’s new project, APB, will revolutionise the sport and I cannot wait to be a part of it”, stated Vladislav Malyshev, Russia’s top R&J. Veteran AIBA referee Mariusz Gorny, who has travelled the world officiating Elite AOB competitions and WSB matches was bestowed with the Best R&J award at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Milan 2009 echoed that sentiment by saying, “Today is a very important moment in my life. The last 10 years I have refereed parallel to a job that I was not passionate about but now I am a full-time AIBA Referee & Judge, it is an amazing feeling. It is a job that carries great responsibility and it is a privilege to be selected, a dream come true”.
Argentina Gerardo Poggi, the youngest of those appointed at 33, was very proud to be selected as part of this elite group of R&Js, declaring, “I will continue to work extremely hard to bring the best refereeing to competitions. APB is the dawn of something special in boxing”.
These seven are only the beginning as AIBA is planning to increase the number of elite R&Js through further workshops and various training programs worldwide in order to have more full time officials in the future. The APB/WSB workshop in Incheon continues until Saturday 3 November.