(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The 12-athlete squad that compete in the 2014 Youth World Championships and Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria has arrived safely for the major international event. A United States team of nine men and three women will compete in tournament action at the Armeec Arena in Sofia, Bulgaria, April 14-24.
Prior to a full day of traveling to Bulgaria on Sunday, Team USA participated in a preparatory training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The nine male athletes who will compete for gold at the Youth World Championships are light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kanas), flyweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.), bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), lightweight Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.), light welterweight Jonathan Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.), welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.), middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland, Ohio), light heavyweight Sharif Rahman (Las Vegas, Nev.), and super heavyweight Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.).
In addition, 2013 Junior World Champions Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) and Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) as well as 2014 Continental Champion Martha Fabela (Oakland, Calif.) will vie for spots in the first Youth Olympic Games to feature women’s boxing at the international event.
The United States squad will hold an acclimation camp this week in Sofia prior to the general weigh-in and tournament draw on Sunday. Male preliminary round action will begin with two daily sessions at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., local time on Monday, April 14 and run through April 24 with the male competitors enjoying on off day on April 22. Female action will commence on April 16 and conclude with final round competition on April 22.
With this year’s competition serving as the sole qualifying event for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, 606 boxers from 105 nations have entered the competition in Bulgaria. The large number of entrants is a dramatic increase from the 2012 tournament in Yerevan, Armenia in which 367 athletes from 68 countries competed in the Youth World Championships.
The top five male boxers in each weight division will qualify for the Nanjing Youth Olympics while the top four in the three women’s weight categories will earn berths in the historic event in China.
Coaches Ed Rivas (Abilene, Texas), David Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), and Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) will lead the United States team at the international event in Bulgaria with Dr. Ralph Bohm (Dix Hills, N.Y.) serving as the team physician.
2014 Youth World Championships and Youth Olympic Games Qualifier Schedule
April 13: General weigh-in and tournament draw
April 14-15: Men’s preliminary round competition
April 16: Men’s and women’s preliminary round competition
April 17: Men’s preliminary round competition
April 18: Men’s and women’s preliminary round competition
April 19: Men’s and women’s preliminary round competition
April 20: Men’s preliminary and women’s semifinal competition
April 21: Men’s quarterfinal competition
April 22: Women’s championship round competition
April 23: Men’s semifinal competition
April 24: Men’s championship round competition
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).