Trio ready to make history at Olympics
THREE South African female boxers are in line to be part of history that will see women's boxing featuring for the first time at the Olympic Games in London in July.
The trio are Thobile Khumalo from KwaZulu-Natal (60kg), Anna du Plessis from Gauteng (51kg) and Claudia Heijns (75kg), also from Gauteng.
Renowned amateur boxing trainer Andile Mofu said the rising boxing stars will be off to China next month to participate in an Olympic qualifier.
"We are taking the three boxers to the AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, from May 9 to 20.
"The tournament will serve as the only qualifying event for the London 2012 Olympic Games," Mofu said.
"Our boxers have been training hard and they are looking forward to qualifying. This is the first time women's boxing will feature at the Olympics and our female boxers are determined to qualify and be part of history.
"It is the aim of AIBA to see these athletes given the opportunity to demonstrate their class and skill by competing at the highest level - the Olympic Games."
The trainer said the Games are the pinnacle of sport and female boxers deserve nothing less. He is grateful for the support of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee in preparing for London.
"The project started in November 2011 when I submitted our plan to Sascoc and they have been supporting us with everything we need for the preparations."
Mofu said the biggest challenge for women's boxing in Africa was lack of competition.
"We are delighted that more women are developing interest in boxing, but we need regular competitions so that our women will also become good."