Amateur boxers get second shot at Olympic qualification

WINDHOEK: A group of six amateur boxers have been given another opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, after Namibia failed to secure a spot at last year’s championships in Dakar, Senegal.

All hopeful amateur boxers who were unable to qualify for the Paris, Olympic Games will participate in the 2024 World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, set for 29 February to 12 March 2024.

During the sending-off ceremony held here on Wednesday, Joan Smit, the secretary-general (SG) of the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC), said that boxing has always represented the country at the Olympic Games and they are looking forward to seeing the young athletes secure slots for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Qualifiers.

‘Last year we sent a team to Dakar, Senegal for the same purpose, but they could not secure us slots. For this reason, the team is being given another chance to compete in Italy,’ she said.

Smit stated that they selected Italy as the location because they want the athletes
to have sufficient time to prepare for the Olympics after qualifying.

‘There are only two scheduled qualifying championships this year, in Italy and Thailand. That’s why we are going to this one in Italy. As you know, boxing is a combat sport, and if boxers get injured, they should have enough time to recover and prepare well for the Olympics,’ she noted.

The SG further pointed out that the boxers will face tough competition as many who couldn’t qualify for the Olympic Games in 2023 will be competing at these championships.

‘The amateur boxing federation has selected the best team and we are hopeful that the boxers will qualify and represent the country at the Olympics, just like in the past. We are confident that the young athletes are physically, physiologically, and mentally prepared to perform well for their country in these championships in Italy,’ she said.

The boxers include Jonas Junius Jonas, Gebhard Ipinge, Tryagain Ndevelo, Trofinus Johannes, Elifas Shailemo, and Petrus Nghishongwa. The coachin
g staff will consist of Albertus Tsamaseb and Titus Muunda Joseph.

The team is scheduled to depart for Italy on 28 February to return on 15 March 2024.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Related Articles