Namibia Aim for Gold At Zone 4 Boxing Champs

A TEAM of ten boxers will represent Namibia at the African Boxing Confederation Zone Four Championships which start in Pretoria, South Africa on Tuesday.

After dominating the regional SADC tournament for the past decade, Namibia last year came second overall behind South Africa, but according to Joe Kaperu of the Namibia Boxing Board, they were determined to take the top position again.

The Namibian team was selected following the national championships in Rundu in December last year as well as national trials in Walvis Bay during March this year.

The Khomas region failed to compete at the National Championships following a dispute with the organisers, but Kaperu said their absence would not have affected the national team much.

“Whoever said the strength of local boxing is in Khomas is not telling the truth. Other regions like Caprivi and Erongo are getting much ger, while most of our top boxers are now representing our affiliate members, Nampol and the NDF,” he said.

Kaperu said the Zone 4 Championships would also serve as preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July, although there were no official qualifying criteria.

“There is no official qualifying criteria for the Commonwealth Games, but we want to show the Namibia Olympic Committee that we have quality boxers,” he said.

The team manager Kenneth Muatara said they were busy with long term preparation and targeting a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

“We are busy with a four year programme and are aiming to get a medal in Rio in 2016. The team is working very hard but we need competition to improve, and without competition we can not make it,” he said.

The team coach Mistake Gariseb said the team only had two weeks to prepare and called on the business community for more support.

“The boxers are hungry to get good results for the nation but there have been some shortcomings in our preparations. We only prepared for two weeks which is not enough. We need more support from the business community,” he said.

Another coach, Joshua Veikko of the team’s management said they had received their preparation funds too late.

“The preparation time was too short because we received the money too late from the Namibian Boxing Board for our training. In future, we will do better if we receive the money in time,” he said.

The team will be accompanied by boxing official Janine van Wyk who was selected to be a supervisor at the Zone 4 Championships, following her officiating at the National Championships in Rundu.

Nine countries will compete in the Zone 4 Championships, namely Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Angola, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles and the hosts South Africa.

The Namibian team is as follows:

Matias Amunyela – Light flyweight

Immanuel Shapaka – Flyweight

Jonas Matheus – Bantamweight

Lazarus Shaningua – Lightweight

Jonas Junius – Light welterweight

Sacky Amutja – Welterweight

Mendu Kaangundue – Middleweight

Paulinus Ndjolinimu – Light heavyweight

Mujandjae Kasuto – Heavyweight

Kaser Sirongo – Super heavyweight

Source : The Namibian