THE national boxing team head coach Gashugi Kananura is optimistic that his fighter Haziza Matusi will win an Olympic medal in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games which start this weekend in Singapore.
Matusi, 17, was picked by the boxing federation after he exhibited good performances in 2009 East Military Games staged in Kigali is among the athletes, who will represent Rwanda at The Singapore Games.
Veteran coach Gashugi told Times Sport last week that he believes his teenager has the potential to win a medal in Singapore.
“Matusi has had good preparations and I’m looking forward to his doing well in Singapore. He is in fine shape and I believe he will stage good performances and maybe win a medal,” said Gashugi.
Apart from Matusi, Rwanda’s hunt for medal will be on the shoulders of Marie Claudine Iradukunda (swimming), Potien Ntawuyirushintege and Jacqueline Murekatete in 3000m.
The Youth Olympic Games boxing competitions will take place from August 21-25. The first ever Summer Youth Olympic Games will bring together approximately 3,600 athletes and 1450 officials
The boxing competition will feature 66 boxers - six boxers in each of the 11 weight categories, from light flyweight to super heavyweight.
Of the 66 places, 44 have gone to the best placed boxers in each weight category at the recent Youth World Boxing Championships, 20 have been allocated as Universality places (to ensure representation from as many countries as possible) and two places went to the host nation.
There will be three phases in the boxing competition: preliminaries, semi-finals and finals. On the day before competition starts, four boxers will be drawn to box in the preliminary round, and two boxers will be drawn directly to fight each other in the semi-final round.
Winners of the two preliminary round bouts will advance to fight each other in the semi final round. The losers of the semi-finals will compete for the bronze medal, and the winners will advance to the gold medal bout.
Each bout will be made up of four rounds, with each rounding lasts two minutes, with a one-minute rest period between rounds.
Rwanda’s national team departs for Singapore on tomorrow (Tuesday) ahead of the event which starts on Saturday.