SOFIA, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The 71st edition of Strandja, the oldest international boxing tournament in Europe, will be held here next week to help participating countries determine their lineups for the upcoming Olympic qualifications, officials said Wednesday.
Some 300 male and female boxers from 32 countries and regions will participate in the event, which will take place in the Sofia Hall, Svetoslav Sapoundjiev, Executive Director at Bulgarian Boxing Federation said at a press conference.
The bouts will begin on Jan. 21 and the finals are scheduled for Jan. 25, Sapoundjiev said.
Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Panama, Russia, Ukraine and the United States are among the countries that will participate in the tournament, he said.
Some countries will have two representatives in the categories in which they hesitated about who should participate in the Olympic qualifications, Sapoundjiev said.
He also said that China and most Asian teams will not participate in the tournament this year. He guessed that they chose not to come because of the Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualification Event that will begin in early February, a few days after Strandja.
According to the website of the International Olympic Committee, the Asian/Oceanian qualification event for Tokyo 2020 will be held from Feb. 3 to 14, while those for the African, European and American regions will be from Feb. 20-29, March 14-24, and March 26-April 3, respectively.