The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted yesterday to add women’s boxing to the 2012 Olympics in London. Women will compete in three weight classes and one male weight class will likely be cut to accommodate the new categories, reports CNN.
Boxing was the only remaining sport not open to women in the Olympics. Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said, “It will be a landmark moment come London 2012 when for the first time every sport will have women participating in it. There are still major disparities in the number of medals women can win compared to men but this is a step in the right direction.”
Women’s boxing dates back to the 1720s, and there are currently over 500,000 licensed female boxers in 120 countries across the world. Supporters of yesterday’s IOC decision hope that the inclusion of women’s boxing in the Olympics will provide young girls with role models and will increase participation in the sport, reports the Guardian.
According to the Associated Press, male boxers in the 2012 Olympic games will compete for ten medals while women will compete for three.