Pugilists to start Olympics preps

The national boxing team will start residential training next week ahead of their second phase of Africa Olympic qualifiers scheduled for March 23-April 2 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The national boxing team will start residential training next week ahead of their second phase of Africa Olympic qualifiers scheduled for March 23-April 2 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The residential training will be fully sponsored by the National Olympics Committee, RNOC; Chef de Mission for Rwanda’s Beijing-bound team has confirmed.

Speaking to Times Sport yesterday by telephone Thierry Ntwali said, “We hope to obtain funds to enable the boxing team start intensive training as they prepare to take part in the Olympics qualifier.”

Besides boxing, Ntwali further disclosed that swimmers are also expected to enter residential training next week.

“Swimmers will not take part in any qualifiers (for Beijing Games) but will go into residential training as they wait to find out if they would land the wildcard invitation,” he noted.

Two other disciplines in which Rwanda will be represented in this year’s Olympics, athletics and cycling have already started residential training.

The athletics team is training in the high altitudes of Ruhengeri, Northern Province while the cyclists are based in Kigali.

Paralympics (sports for the physically disabled), is the fifth sports discipline on the Rwandan team.

The boxing team was forced to halt their non-residential training a fortnight ago due to “financial constraints”, which led to missing out on the ongoing first round of Olympic qualifier (for Africa region) in Algiers, Algeria.

Last December, local boxing governing body, Raba named a provisional 19-man team to for residential training with a view to pick eight who would make the final team.

The international boxing governing body, AIBA has prepared qualifiers for each of its members- America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania, in which each continent will host two qualifiers.
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