Oteng’s Olympic dream still on track despite injury scare
by Botlhale Koothupile
The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) is adamant that Oteng Oteng’s Olympic training will continue accordingly despite his latest injury.
The reigning Botswana’s Sportsman of the Year and one of the country’s Olympic hopefuls is said to have suffered an injury scare during his training overseas.
BOBA’s Publicity and Information Secretary, Willoughby Kemoen, said that the flyweight boxer suffered a knock on the hand during a training session. “It is nothing major. It is just a knock and we are hopeful that he will resume training very soon,” Kemoen says.
Oteng has been in intensive training in Cuba as part of his Olympic preparations. While there, the boxer has had an opportunity to train with boxers from European countries who are preparing for the Olympics. He also attended a boxing tournament in the country as well as another one in the Ukraine.
Kemoen says the boxer, together with his coach, Khumiso Ikgopoleng, will be expected back in the country on Monday and the boxer will be attended to by the doctors within three days of his arrival.
“This will be for him to get medical assessment of the injury. At this moment, the extent of the injury is unknown and we, as BOBA, felt it is wise for him to come back here so that a proper assessment can be made by the doctors,” Kemoen said.
He added that once the boxer has been assessed, he will then head to Venezuela to resume his training. Kemoen says another reason that necessitated the boxer and his coach to make a detour back into the country than going straight to Venezuela to continue his training is for them to get visas to enter Venezuela.
The BOBA spokesperson says both Oteng and Ikgopoleng found it difficult to make entry visas in Cuba and thus have to reroute into Botswana to make them.
Meanwhile, three local boxers have been sent to Venezuela to help Oteng in training. The trio, 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games silver medalist Tirafalo Seoko (56 kg), newly crowned 49 kg category Africa boxing cup champion, Mooketsi Lekgetho, and Lentswe Zwinila (64) kg left the country on Thursday.
The three boxers are expected to be Oteng’s sparring partners in Venezuela. The boxers, who are sponsored by the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), will also use the Venezuela sojourn as preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 as well as the Rio 2016 Olympics. Kemoen said that the boxers will be joined there by Oteng once he has been seen by local doctors.
From Venezuela, Oteng will be expected to go to France for his final training camp before heading into the United Kingdom for the Olympic Games.