At 38, Kaye Scott is a silver medalist at world championships. At 40 she has to retire

But Scott, a fellow of the NSW Institute of Sport and prospect of the 2024 Olympics, is just one athlete to fall victim to the IBA’s age restriction.

Six-time world champion Mary Kom of India will miss the Olympic selection next year on her 41st birthday.

“I don’t want to retire at all,” Kom said. “I want to compete for the next five years, but we can’t keep up over 40, that’s the rule.”

Finland’s Mira Potkonen has qualified for Tokyo 2020 in what would be her last Olympics. However, when the event was postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Potkonen was given special permission to compete at 41. She won bronze in the lightweight class.

By restricting who can compete, the IBA is cutting out some of its best athletes, Scott said, and in 2025, when the next World Championships are due, Australia won’t be able to send its best competitor.

“If someone like me was second at the World Cup and you say I can’t defend my title at the next one and I’d still be number one in Australia, you stop your number one person from being able to go” said Scott.


“I think I should be able to retire on my own terms.”

Scott’s final year of competition will be 2024, but even if she can’t lift the rule in time for her to compete at the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, she won’t give up the fight.

Scott, who has just been appointed to the IBA’s board of directors for the Oceania division, said she will work to make a change.

“Whether it helps me or not, or if it’s someone else in the future, I just don’t think it should be a rule.”

Boxing Australia said the rule is out of their hands. “The age rule is an IBA rule. The IBA is our governing body and as such we are bound by this rule,” Boxing Australia said in a statement.

The IBA has been asked to comment.

Sports news, scores and expert commentary. Sign up for our sports newsletter. At 38, Kaye Scott is a silver medalist at world championships. At 40 she has to retire

Ryan Sederquist

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