Mnguni eyes 2024 Olympics qualification

Amateur boxer set to start with preparations in August

Phiwokuhle Mnguni, in red, in her fight against Sajeewani Coorey Muthuthanthri of Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Games.
Phiwokuhle Mnguni, in red, in her fight against Sajeewani Coorey Muthuthanthri of Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Games.
Image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The 2024 Paris Olympics is the next target for 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medallist amateur boxer Phiwokuhle Mnguni.

It has been reported that 206 nations will compete in next year's international multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.

"The biggest hurdle is to qualify for the Olympics," Mnguni said yesterday, adding that the process will begin in August.

Mnguni, from Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal, said SA National Amateur Boxing Organisation has made the ground fertile by sending its team to the Women World Championships in India, New Delhi, in March. 

"I managed to be in the top 16 out of 250 boxers from about 177 countries," Mnguni said. "Going there helped us for exposure and experience so that we are aware of what lies ahead of us."

Mnguni's achievement in the Commonwealth Games may be viewed as a consolation for not grabbing gold, but it was huge on her part because it made her the first South African female amateur boxer to receive a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. 

That history-making accomplishment earned her the 2022 KwaZulu-Natal Sport Personality of the Year award. She also won the Sportswoman of the Year award at the same awards in Durban. Her two coveted awards netted her R100,000 as well as a brand-new car.

Mnguni said her life has changed for the better since winning the bronze medal. She paid tribute to the SA Sports Confederation and Olympics Committee (Sascoc) for being there for her.

"I am even able to share the little stipend that I get from Sascoc with my family," she said, adding that her parents are not working. "I have also completed my one-year sports management course."

Mnguni said she chose the vicious sport of boxing because of her love for contact sports. "I started in karate," she said. "My mother was worried when I joined boxing because of my small arms. My father couldn't believe it watching his daughter on TV, standing on the podium to receive her medal."

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