Andrew Kooner and Adam Trupish enjoyed their flights home from Mexico on Sunday, knowing that in just a few more months they’ll be boarding another plane for Athens, Greece. This weekend at the Olympics Games Qualifier in Tijuana, both of the Windsor natives received invitations to compete for Canada at the Olympics.

Andrew Kooner cruised through his 3 bouts to capture Gold in the 54kg weight class. Andrew first defeated Bismarck Alfaro from Nicaragua by outscoring him in the 3rd Round (referee stopped contest), then defeated Alexander Espinoza from Venezuela by a score of 32-22. In the Championship bout, the Windsor Amateur Boxing Club protégé beat Puerto Rico’s Juan Lopez 29-18 to secure his spot in Athens.

Adam Trupish, also a student of Windsor’s great coach Charlie Stewart, had a slightly more nerve-wrecking week. First he dominated Edurado Sandoval from Costa Rico, 26-3, and then ousted last year’s Pan-American Games Qualifying Winner Omar Coffi 22-16. This led to a difficult semi-final bout versus American Vanes Martirosyan, with the winner assured at least a Silver Medal and a place in the Olympics. Trupish lost a very close and controversial decision to Martirosyan 25-19, seemingly thwarting his Olympic chances. As fate would have it though, another spot was opened up when Juan MacPherson of USA who had already qualified at the Pan American Games, did not make the USA team in Tijuana. Therefore the bronze medalist who lost to the eventual winner in the 69kg class would advance. Martirosyan won his Gold Medal bout, and Adam Trupish deservedly is now an Olympian.

Jason Douglas, of Atlas Boxing Club in Toronto, came ever so close to joining his Ontario partners in Athens. He handily defeated Dulian Terry of the Cayman Islands, beat Rafael Lima of Brazil in a disqualification, and advanced to the Heavyweight (91kg) Championship versus Devin Vargas of the USA. Unlike the lighter weight divisions, only the Gold winner in the Heavyweights would advance and Douglas lost his decision to Vargas. Still, the 24 year old has one more opportunity to reach Athens, at the final Olympic Qualifier in Brazil on April 4.

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