SA boxing's Olympic dream floored

Durban performance in Mandela Cup dreadful

Ferrous Zinnat from Bangladesh with her trainer Coljn Morgan.
Ferrous Zinnat from Bangladesh with her trainer Coljn Morgan.
Image: Bongani Magasela

SA's performance in the five-day amateur continental boxing tournament – the inaugural Mandela African Challenge Cup – was absolutely dreadful.

The local team of SA National Amateur Boxing Organisation (SANABO) did not win even a single gold medal but instead settled for seven silvers and three bronzes in the finals on Sunday.

This means Team SA will not have boxing representatives at the Paris Olympics because they are nowhere near a team that is expected to take advantage of the last leg of the Olympic qualifiers in Thailand next month.

Few members of the team that went to Ghana for the All Africa Games recently were in action in Durban. It had been confirmed that they would use the Mandela African Challenge Cup to gauge their preparedness for Thailand in May and June.

Head coach Nkosinathi Hlatshwayo said: "We are going to Thailand and we have put through five names and SANABO will make an announcement and then we will go for a camp – preferably in Thailand so that we acclimatise."

Hlatshwayo said he had no role in the selection of the team that was in Durban.

"John Masamba, Sanele Sogcwayi, Lusizo Babalo and Amzolele Dyeyi are my hopefuls for now. Unfortunately, promoters have already began confusing them, talking about the professional ranks."

Congo turned the tournament into a one-country show, winning most gold medals. 

Ferdous Zinnat from Bangladesh, whose participation in the continental tournament raised eyebrows, won gold. 

The only positive aspect about SA is that tournament was the good work done by the Local Organisation Committee that was chaired by seasoned administrator Aleck Skosana.

International Boxing Association, which is based in Switzerland, and African Boxing Council, who were the organisers, took total control of the proceedings and deployed its own personnel in all strategic positions.

The attendance was non-existent. Fights started very late and it all happened during the week.

When the tournament was confirmed, it was claimed that 44 African countries had confirmed their participation but only 22 showed up and 157 boxers took part in the tournament.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.