SA boxers to train in Cuba for 2012 Olympics

AFTER producing a lone fighter at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jackson Chauke, South Africa's amateur boxing authorities are turning to Cuba to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.

AFTER producing a lone fighter at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jackson Chauke, South Africa's amateur boxing authorities are turning to Cuba to prepare for the 2012 London Olympics.

The South African National Amateur Boxing Organisation (Sanabo) plans to send 43 young men and women to train in Cuba as part of their preparations.

And Cuban coaches will come to South Africa, where boxers like Masibulele Makepula, Jeffrey Mathebula and Danie Venter have also graduated from the Olympics.

Cuba has dominated boxing at the Olympics and Sanabo is confident that their boxers will be better prepared in London in 2012.

As part of the preparations for the Olympics, Sanabo is launching a programme to identify gifted young men and women who could make the country proud. The programme will take the form of provincial tournaments, with Sanabo and Boxing South Africa (BSA) working together to identify potential medallists.

BSA will be responsible for technical issues and operations. As the custodian of Olympic sport in this country, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee will also be involved in overseeing the whole project.

The tournaments will start in Kimberley on Saturday with the final one taking place in GaRankuwa on October 29.

Barries Barnard, the Sanabo president, said: "This is an opportunity that we will utilise to the absolute maximum to market 'Olympic style' boxing in South Africa, while at the same time creating an overall awareness of the boxing potential in our country.

"From the process roughly 100 to 120 boxers will be selected to be part of the exciting programme."

Barnard said selected boxers would be absorbed into the South African National Defence Force and the department of correctional services.

"They will undergo mandatory training from January to June 2010 as well as boxing training.

"The next step will be for selected boxers to fight against the existing amateur squads in the various Sanabo areas."

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