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Namibian boxers train in Cuba

by John Tuerijama


Namibia has joined over six countries in Havana, Cuba for their final preparation for the forthcoming Olympic Games qualifiers to be hosted by Casablanca, Morocco later this month.
The Namibia Boxing Federation (NABF) has sent a strong and formidable team of six boxers to Cuba under the watchful-eye of experienced trainer, Mistake Gariseb who is assisted by fellow compatriot, Veiko Joshua.
The six, who were selected from the initial 18 called up for training are, Jafet Uutoni (light flyweight), Johannes Simon (flyweight), Jonas Matheus (bantamweight), Jeremiah Nakathila (lightweight), Mejan djae Kasuto ( middleweight) and Tobias Munihango (super middleweight).
NABF’s Secretary-General, Joe Kaperu informed The Villager Sport that the six boxers have adapted very well in Cuba and are hard at training.
“I have not received any negative news with regard to the boxers’ behaviour except that everything is on track as far as training is concerned,” said Kaperu.
The secretary-general added that the reason why NABF sent boxers to Cuba and not to any other country is because the Island is the leading nation in the Olympic style of boxing.
“Most countries have gone to Cuba for an intense preparation; imagine that Russia, being one of the world’s best, has also sent their boxers to Cuba. Our boxers will get the physical and mental conditioning needed as Cuba is extremely advanced in that discipline,” stressed Kaperu.
Known as the ‘Elephant’ of Namibian boxing, Kaperu is confident that Namibia will do very well at the Africa’s qualifiers later this month.
According to him, the weather conditions in Cuba are more or less the same as in Morocco.
“I am also happy to say that no injuries have been sustained by any of our boxers thus far,” he said.
The Namibian boxers took part in the official sparring tournament last Saturday, which Kaperu described as a high-level boxing tournament.
The countries that have sent boxers to Cuba are the Bahamas, Jordan, Russia, Holland, Mozambique, Namibia as well as some countries from South America.
“With that intense training, our boxers are currently receiving in Cuba, I am confident they (boxers) will do very well at the African qualifiers,” said Kaperu.
 Kaperu said that the NABF will retain the two officials currently on tour with the six boxers, should any qualify for the Summer Olympic Games in London, unlike in the past when officials were changed at the last minute resulting in undue infighting.
“We normally select our officials on merits based on their involvement in boxing activities but if changes are warranted, we effect them,” said Kaperu.
He added that currently, Gariseb is the head coach in Cuba and will be in Morocco at the qualifying event but should he come back and relax after the qualifiers, he would automatically disqualify himself from any future considerations by NABF.  
Katutura Central Constituency Councilor, Ambrosius Kandjii is the head of delegation in Cuba and will continue to act in that capacity in Casablanca.