SA boxers hope to qualify in Morocco
NINE South African amateur boxers are off to Morocco today to participate in a major tournament in their quest to qualify for the London Olympics.
The boxers trained by Andile Mofu will take part in the International Amateur Boxing Association African Olympic qualifiers in Casablanca from Friday until May 6.
They are Lebogang Pilane (49kg), Ludumo Lamati (51kg), Ayabonga Sonjica (56kg), Sinethemba Bam (60kg), Tulani Mbenge (64kg), Siphiwe Lusizi (69kg), Hlahla Hobwana (75kg), Akane Puzi (91kg) and Paul Schaefer (+91kg).
"This is a big team made up of rising stars from the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Western Cape and Free State who are geared up for the tournament in Morocco," said Mofu.
"All the boxers reaching the quarterfinals will qualify for the London Olympics.
"We are going to Morocco fully aware that the tournament is the very last chance to qualify for the Olympics. It is one boxer per division in the tournament and we will be represented in nine of the 10 divisions. I have no doubt the majority, if not all, will qualify.
"It was disappointing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics that only one SA boxer (Jackson Chauke) qualified."
Prominent South Africans who turned professional after featuring at the Olympics include Hawk Makepula, Jeffrey Mathebula, Phumzile Matyhila, Khotso Motau and Bongani Mahlangu.
Meanwhile, the women's qualifiers will take place in Qinhuangdao, China, from May 2 to 9. The event serves as the only qualifying event for the Olympics.