Tulani Mbenge covets Olympic gold

2014-08-10 15:00

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Amateur welterweight boxer and Commonwealth Games medallist Tulani Mbenge says he will be focusing on keeping himself in prime condition ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The pugilist (23), from Mdantsane in Eastern Cape, won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last week.

In beating Englishman Scott Fitzgerald, Mbenge claimed the country’s first medal in boxing since Team SA’s dismal showing at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010.

Speaking from his home in East London, Mbenge said he was proud of his achievement for both team and country.

“I feel good to be the only guy in our boxing team to have won a medal. I am looking forward to doing well next year in all tournaments in the lead-up to Rio, where I must get gold for my team,” said Mbenge.

The fighter, who is studying for an IT diploma at Boston City Campus in East London, said there were many contenders for the gold in Scotland.

“I’ve learnt a lot,” he quipped, adding he was not in a hurry to campaign in the paid ranks just yet. “I’m enjoying myself in the amateurs. I want to win all competitions next year to prove that I will be ready for Rio,” he said.

SA National Amateur Boxing Organisation president Andile Mofu said the institution was proud of the boxer’s achievement.

“As an organisation, we are happy with the medal. We had targeted at least four medals from the Games, but we managed only one,” said Mofu.

But Mofu was happy with the improvement on the previous haul. “Our showing was better than in Delhi, where we got nothing.” Mofu added he was optimistic that the boxing team would do well in future events.

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