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BoBA sets solid plan to avoid 2016 Rio Olympics misfortune

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Wants to be represented at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

In working hard and ensuring that they will have representation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Botswana boxing national team will use every competition that comes between now and next year February to prepare for the African Boxing Olympics qualifiers, the national team head Lechadzani Luza, has said.

The Africa Boxing Olympics qualifiers are billed for Senegal next year February in which the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) intends to send a thoroughly prepared team in hoping that some will qualify to avoid the 2016 Rio Olympics misfortune of not being represented. There was disappointment during the 2016 Olympics as boxing had no representation despite them having a boxer during the 2012 London Olympics in Oteng Oteng.

Luza told Gazette Sport on the sidelines of the ongoing boxing competitions at the African Games that the national team boxers have been on camp since February of this year even though they had breaks in between. He said the boxers also had international competitions in countries like Hungary, France and Thailand to check their fitness. “Boxers do not need to train hard only but they have to compete against the best to sharpen their skills,” Luza noted. “It is important for them to keep on fighting and I am impressed with their performances even in these games (African Games).”

The boxing national team head coach said they will also use the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships which will be held in Yekaterinburg, Russia from 7 to 21 September to gauge their boxers against the best. Botswana will send a team of four in the 62kg, 57kg 54kg and 59kg.

“And from there we are not going to take a break, we are going to ensure that our boxers take part in some challenges as we want them to remain fit. It is vital for them to have about 50 bouts in a year just like the Europeans do,” Luza who is also a former boxer and won silver for Botswana at the 2002 Commonwealth games noted. “It is our dream to be represented at the Olympics.”

Going on, Luza stated that he is happy with the level of boxing in the country as the sport is making a serious comeback by dishing impressive performances in almost all international competitions that they take part in. “We sent two boxers to Hungary earlier this year and brought home a silver medal, we also had fights in Thailand and France on which our boxers did well by defeating the best and we defeated teams by big margins during the Zone 4 competitions which were hosted in Botswana two months back. The boxers are also doing well in the ongoing African Games, so I am impressed” he noted.

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