Olympic qualifier @ Bangkok

May 2024

A boxing team from Curacao and Aruba was in Bangkok, Thailand, with the goal of qualifying for the Olympic Games under the Aruban flag.
The team consisted of the Curaçao boxer Fabian Williams, the Aruban boxer Shaquon Croes and the coaches Coregelino Djaoen and Yohan Luis Leon Martinez.

579 boxers from 133 countries competed for 10 days for 51 spots in the Olympic Games in Paris, France, July-August 2024. 13 weight classes, 6 for women and 7 for men.

Fabian Williams won Filip Poturovic (Croatia) in the -63.5 kg class, with a total of 65 boxers. He lost against Abdallah Abou-Arab (Denmark).

Shaquon Croes in the -71 kg class, with a total of 70 boxers, unfortunately lost against Mohamed Rachem (Belgium).

Because Curacao does not have Olympic recognition and no NOC (National Olympic Committee), CuraBox (Curacao Boxing Association) president Edwin Baas has submitted a request to AruBox (Aruba Boxing Association) and they approached the Aruban Olympic Committee COA (Comité Olímpico Arubano). This request concerns making an exception and allowing the Curaçao boxer to box under the Aruban flag during the last Olympic qualifier that will take place.

Many do not understand why Curacao does not have Olympic recognition and that is why Edwin Baas will briefly explain this.
Until 2010, Curacao, together with Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius (Statia), was united as the Netherlands Antilles and there was a National Olympic Committee, called NAOC (Netherlands Antillean Olympic Committee).
In 2010 everything changed. The Netherlands Antilles were administratively abolished. Curaçao therefore continued as a country within the kingdom of The Netherlands. Although the island had become autonomous, it was not independent, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has demanded since 1996. In 1996 the IOC stipulated that only independent countries may have their own national Olympic committee.
When this rule was introduced, the IOC spared semi-independent countries that already had a committee at the time, such as Aruba. The island had left the Antilles administratively in 1986 and continued as a country within the Dutch kingdom. So Aruba kept its Aruban Olympic Committee and Olympic status. Sint Maarten and Curacao cannot claim this and therefore miss out on financial resources, like the international Olympic funds, that comes with it.
Curaçao athletes Philipine van Aanholt (sailing) and Philip Elhage (shooting) already participated in the Olympic Games under the Aruban flag.

We are very grateful to COA and AruBox (with whom we have had a good relationship for decades) for the collaboration and providing the opportunity.

Aruban Shaquon Croes had spent the months preceding the qualification in Curacao in preparation under guidance of Coregelino Djaoen and Yohan Leon. Curacao and Aruba will work together much more with the aim of bringing the sport of boxing to a higher level, both in Aruba and Curacao.