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Olympic boxers need N$350 000

by John Tuerijama


Despite being the only sport code to consistently be the first to qualify for the Olympic Games over the years, the Namibian Boxing Federation is now being accused of dormancy and not helping boxers psyche up for  the 2012 London Games.
This, after Namibia failed to send a single boxer to the first Olympic qualifying event sanctioned by the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) held in Baku, Azerbaijan last October, due to lack of funds.
As a result, Namibia has no boxers yet destined for London and the only other window of qualification left is the Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Casablanca, Morocco slated for next April.
 “We are not dormant and if the funds are availed before the next qualifying tournament, we will make sure that there are boxers qualifying to participate in London come 2012,” stressed Kaperu adding that funding will rest the powers that be at the Namibia Sport Commission, the Namibia National Olympic Committee and the line Ministry.
 “We need about  N$350 000 for our participation at the April qualifications in Morocco as we plan to have seven boxers of whom at least four stand better chances of qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics,” said Kaperu.
Africa has only one boxer; an Algerian who has booked a place for the London Games and Kaperu is of the opinion that the Africa Olympic Qualifying tournament will be very tough, because all the best boxers will be vying for top honours to ensure participation in the United Kingdom.
“With the judges expected to be from Europe, America and Oceania, I anticipate the tournament to be fair and I am confident that our boxers, should funds allow, will do very well  at the qualifying tournament since there will be no African judges who are known to be biased at most of the events; zone and continental levels,” said Kaperu.
Lightweight pugilist, Japhet Uutoni who in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and previous African Boxing Championships, gold medallist, heavyweight, Tobias Munihango failed to make it to Maputo,  as well as welterweight, Mejandjae  Kasuto and flyweight, Natanael Kamati are all tipped to make the cut to London.