Pan Am Games 2023: Allicock surges to opening victory; Jackman suffers defeat

Boxer Keevin Allicock made the ideal start on the road to Paris 2024 Olympic qualification when he produced a clinical opening victory at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday.

However, compatriot Alesha Jackman suffered a painful defeat in her Round-of-16 Women’s 66kg contest.

Seeking to make amends for his unsuccessful 2019 campaign in Lima, Peru, Allicock looked in perfect shape and dominated the opening Men’s 57kg contest against Javier Ibarguen.

Keevin Allicock (blue) lands a hard right hook to Javier Ibarguen (PHOTO: Guyana Olympic Association/Akeem Greene/October 19, 2023)

Outmaneuvering his Panamanian opponent, Allicock got into pockets, landed jabs, and then swung some hard-hitting right punches.

His efficiency and dominance forced the referee to stop the contest one minute, 32 seconds into the second round.

Speaking after the bout, Allicock explained he is happy with the start, but is not looking too far ahead in the ultimate goal of Olympic qualification.

His next bout is a quarter-final against American Jahmal Harvey on Monday from 17:15h.

Meanwhile, it was a tearful end for the 19-year-old Jackman as she lost to 31-year-old Lucia Perez of Argentina when the referee stopped the contest one minute, 52 seconds into the third round.

Alesha Jackman (red) had some inspiring moments in her contest with Lucia Perez of Argentina (PHOTO: Guyana Olympic Association/Akeem Greene/October 19, 2023)

Though the two traded some heavy punches, had it gone to the Judges’ decision, the Argentine would have won, with five judges scoring in her favour.

Jackman said he was disappointed with the result, but admirably indicated it was a great learning experience, which she will use to seek success at other international events.

Up next for boxing, Desmond Amsterdam faces Gabriel Buonarrigo in the start of Round-of-32 bouts in the Men’s 80kg on Saturday, while Joel Williamson faces Miguel De La Cruz of the Dominican Republic in the Round-of-16 in the 63.5kg category on Sunday from noon.

Emmanuel Pompey will battle Tabukuo Aska of Antigua and Barbuda on October 23 from 12:15h.

Clive Atwell secured Guyana’s last medal in the sport at the 2007 edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when he won bronze in the 54kg segment.

Twenty athletes are representing Guyana across the disciplines of Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Swimming, Weight Lifting, Electronic Sports (Esports) and Track and Field.

From Saturday, Badminton, Swimming, Taekwondo and Weightlifting will get their first taste of competition.