Namibia Second at Zone Four Boxing Champs

Namibia’s amateur boxing team came second overall at the Zone IV Boxing Championships in Pretoria, South Africa last weekend.

The hosts South Africa won the tournament with a total of nine medals (four gold, two silver, three bronze), while Namibia came second with eight medals (three gold, one silver and four bronze medals).

They were followed by Mauritius (two gold, one silver, two bronze), Angola (one gold, three silver, five bronze) and Botswana (one gold, two silver and three bronze medals).

The other competing nations were Mozambique and Lesotho who each won two silver and one bronze medal, and Swaziland who did not win any medals.

Namibia’s gold medallists were Immanuel Shepaka, who beat Gilbert Bactora of Mauritius in the flyweight final Lazarus Shaningwa who beat Manuel Andre of Angola in the lightweight final and Mujandjae Kasuto who beat Tumba Silva of Angola in the heavyweight final.

Namibia’s silver medallist was Jonas Junius who progressed to the light welterweight final where he lost against Kagiso Bagwasi of Botswana.

Namibia’s four bronze medallists were bantamweight Jonas Matheus, super heavyweight Kasera Sirongo, welterweight Sacky Amutja and light heavyweight Paulinus Ndolinimu.

Speaking at a press conference on their return on Wednesday, the team manager Kenneth Muatara said he was proud of his team’s performance.

“We joined seven other nations in South Africa and no one knew what to expect from Namibia, but we did very well by reaching eight semifinals, which was better than any other country. We should have won the tournament, because Kasera Sirongo, Sakkie Amutja, Jonas Matheus and Matias Amunyela were clear winners, but we are still proud of our second place. This formed part of our training programme for the Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics and these results show that we will get there,” he said.

Coach Mistake Gariseb congratulated the boxers on a ‘brilliant performance.’

“The performance of our boxers was brilliant. We came second and with more support we can come first so Id like to urge the business community to assist us,” he said.

Assistant coach Joshua Veikko also called on more support from the private sector.

“We didn’t have much time to prepare but we were the best nation in South Africa. I ask the private sector to support our boys so that they can realise their dreams of competing at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics,” he said.

Oiva Angula of the team’s main sponsor Telecom Namibia also hailed the boxers’ performances.

“The Namibian boxing team gave an outstanding performance in South Africa and it shows that we have extraordinary talented Olympic style boxers who are bound for success,” he said.

“I’d also like to congratulate the Namibian Boxing Federation for their development and elevating boxing in the country. We know the boxers have been working very hard since the national championships in Rundu and we are happy their hard work is paying off,” he added.

“As a company, we are honoured to support such excellent boxers and we are sure this squad will add more medals in the future,” Angula concluded.

The secretary general of the Namibian Boxing Federation, Joe Kaperu said the Namibian team would compete against a South African team at the Windhoek Country Club on 10 May, to ‘showcase the talent that Namibia has in Olympic style boxing.’

Kaperu added that the team had been invited by the Spanish Boxing Federation to attend an international joint training camp in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

“The team will leave on 16 May and will return on 21 July, while we will compete against top boxing countries like Russia, Cuba and Spain. We just need to sort out some technicalities in terms of funding with our main sponsor Telecom Namibia, while we are also asking corporate Namibia to assist us,” he said.

Source : The Namibian