Saturday, July 13, 2024

Boxers enter final preparations ahead of Commonwealth Games

The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) completed their local preparations ahead of the Commonwealth Games due to be held in Delhi, India, when they hosted their Lesotho counterparts at the Fairgrounds in Gaborone this past weekend.

With only a month to go before the actual games begin, BOBA is leaving no stone unturned in their effort to bring silverware from the Delhi games.

To fine tune its athletes, the association has managed to arrange friendly games with three neighbouring countries since June this year.

In all, the three friendly games against Zambia, Namibia and Lesotho, the local lads performed well, something which may give them a morale boost ahead of the games.

Against Lesotho, the local boxers showed a lot of technical ability, aggression and a lot of stamina.

The local lads showed an uncanny resilience in the friendly against Lesotho as they mostly came from behind to launch massive comebacks to win.

Of the six local boxers going to the Delhi games, only Gomotsang Gaasite lost his bout.

Despite losing five of the six bouts against Botswana, the boys from Lesotho displayed some very good tactical awareness, something which seemed to take the local boys by surprise.

The boys from the mountain kingdom fought neatly in the first rounds but faded as the bouts went on. Their brilliant use of jabs when retreating and combinations when on attack seemed to startle the local lads but they failed miserably when it came to in fights and lacked stamina to finish their bouts strongly.

Speaking in an interview with Telegraph Sport, BOBA spokesperson, Willoughby Kemoen, said he was happy with the preparations. He says their main aim when fighting in friendly games was not to win, but to see where the local boys were inadequate so as to prepare them well for the Commonwealth and eventually the London 2012 Olympics.

Kemoen further told Telegraph Sport that preparations are well underway to send the Commonwealth Games bound boxers on a month long intensive training camp in Cuba before heading to Delhi for the games.

He says while Europe, and Scotland in particular, was their camp destination, circumstances have forced them to change.

The BOBA spokesperson says taking into cognisance the fact that Europe is now in winter whilst India is hot, they found it better to go to Cuba where the weather is not so much different from India.

This latest development may come as a blessing for the local boys as Cuba is the powerhouse of amateur boxing and has sound structures for boxing development.

Kemoen says the camp will also allow them to take advantage of Cuba’s setup and prepare better as they will have access to nutritionists, psychologists and physiotherapists. The BOBA spokesperson further told Telegraph Sport that the association has developed a four-year development circle, which was done to coincide with the Olympic Games, adding that the current Commonwealth games bound team is a product of that plan.

He said that while they want to win medals at the upcoming Delhi Commonwealth Games, they also want to use the games to prepare their team for London 2012.


Read this week's paper