By Tom Degun

Charlie Edwards_16-04-12April 15 - Many of Europe's top boxers are set to take part in their last opportunity to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games at a special International Boxing Association (AIBA) tournament in Trabzon, Turkey, this week, which was delayed due to a bizarre fog incident.

The tournament was due to begin on Friday (April 13) with 211 boxers from 44 nations registered to compete in Trabzon but only 18 teams, 79 boxers and 16 referees arrived on time after the fog caused several flight delays to the Turkish city.

The competition started today but still conclude on Saturay (April 21) as originally planned.

Europe's top boxers will be aiming to take the remaining 26 Olympic Games quota places available for the region after the continent secured 46 qualification places for London 2012 at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku last year.

Three further boxers have acquired their via the World Series of Boxing (WSB) competition last year to leave the 26 spots in Trabzon.

GB Boxing has selected a team of seven for the event which covers all of the five weight categories where places are still available to them.

Sam Maxwell_16-04-12
Light flyweight Charlie Edwards (pictured top left) from London, lightweight trio Josh Taylor from Edinburgh, Sam Maxwell (pictured right) from Liverpool and Joe Cordina from Cardiff, middleweight Anthony Ogogo from Lowestoft, light heavyweight Callum Smith from Liverpool and heavyweight Warren Baister from Sunderland are the British boxers looking to secure Olympic qualification.

"There were some very tough calls to make in reaching a final decision at a couple of weights but in the end we have settled on those boxers whom we feel have the best chance of meeting the qualifying standard in what will be a very tough assignment," said GB Boxing's performance director Rob McCracken.

All three home nations have a representative in the lightweight category where Cordina will box for Wales, Taylor for Scotland and Maxwell for England.

"We have a lot of talent at lightweight and Josh and Joe both deserve their opportunities after some good recent performances," explained McCracken.

"Sam joined the squad recently, after his victory in the GB Championships, and has performed tremendously in training and competition where he has acclimatised very easily to the demands of international boxing.

"He recently won a tournament, where he boxed superbly and beat some very good quality opponents, and merits the opportunity to go to the qualifier."

The number of Olympic places available for Britain differs across the weight categories.

To secure an Olympic place, Edwards will need to make the semi-final at light flyweight.

Anthony Ogogo_16-04-12
At middleweight, Ogogo (pictured right) needs to make the final and at heavyweight, Baister needs to win the competition to qualify for London 2012.

At light heavyweight and lightweight a boxer needs to make the final or lose in the semi-final to the eventual winner of the competition to get to the Olympics.

If one or more of the home nation boxers meets the qualification standard in the lightweight category, there will be a box-off for the Olympic place, unless one of them wins the tournament outright, in which case they automatically get the place.

Five GB boxers have already qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games following the 2011 World Championships.

They are flyweight Andrew Selby, bantamweight Luke Campbell, light welterweight Tom Stalker, welterweight Fred Evans and superheavyweight Anthony Joshua.

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