SA boxers eye Rio Games in SA boxing

2014-02-16 14:00

The SA National Boxing Organisation (Sanabo) internal fights are over and what lies ahead now are the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The body responsible for amateur boxing in the country was suspended by its mother body, the International Boxing Association, last year for its indiscretions.

Sanabo president Andile Mofu this week told City Press boxers were the biggest losers as a result of boardroom politics and vowed this would never happen again under his watch.

With the Rio Games around the corner, Mofu has promised to end South Africa’s more than

20-year boxing medal drought. He said the launch pad for Rio will be the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, later this year.

The organisation has put an ambitious and clustered 2014 schedule in place to expose boxers to competing at the highest level.

South African combatants have performed badly in the last three Olympics, with all three 2004 participants, one in 2008 and two in 2012 coming home empty-handed.

Mofu has promised to send at least six competitors to Rio and said one medal was a realistic target.

Talking about the selection process, he said: “Representation is determined by boxers themselves. If one excels in the competitions lined up, they book themselves a ticket to Rio.”

Sanabo will benefit massively from the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s Operation Excellence programme.

Part of the programme features a series of training camps for athletes across the board, scheduled to take place in Italy in the build-up to Rio. Sanabo boxers will be included in seven of the camps.

Ayabonga Sonjica, Siphiwe Lusizi and Thulani Mbenge are guaranteed to attend the camps. Sonjica and Lusizi featured in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“The two have international experience and  it helps a great deal that they did not turn professional after London 2012,” said Mofu.

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