Seventeen national team boxers travel have been nominated to participate in Africa’s elite boxing championship that kicks off Tuesday 25th of July in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The group which has been camping at Forest Park Resort Buloba was on Monday flagged off by Uganda Boxing Federation President Moses Muhangi.
Balanced between debutants and senior National team boxers, the team has had a few setbacks ranging from limited preparations time that only saw them camping for two weeks. It the past spent at least a month preparing for the games.
But the team has promised that the setbacks will not dampen its r spirits. The team captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa speaking at the flag off ceremony said while there are many debutants on the team, they have been working tirelessly with the guidance of experienced teammates to improve their performances.
Tukamuhebwa who competes in the light welterweight category will lead the team which is aiming at least to improve the performance of the last edition where Uganda finished joint 15th with Guinea. At the time, it only managing only to secure two bronze medals from Yusuf Nkobeza who participated in the middleweight category, and Jonah Kyobe who participated in the featherweight category.
Uganda Boxing Federation President, Moses Muhangi who presided over the official flag-off event said while the team has not had the necessary preparations for the continental game, he was hopeful that it will yield good results.
One of the athletes, Emilly Nakalema thanks the Federation for including female boxers on the team. She said that will give them the opportunity to vie for medals. She pledged that she and her female colleagues were determined to justify the decision made by the technical bench.
At least 35 countries including DR Congo, Tanzania, Comoros, Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt, and others confirmed their participation in the competition which aims to foster competitiveness among the boxers. The competition in Cameroon is in preparation for the Africa Olympics qualifiers scheduled for September 2023 in Dakar and for the Olympic qualifiers. This year, the prize money has been increased, with gold medalists receiving $20,000, silver medalists receiving $10,000, and $5,000 awarded to each of the two bronze medalists. In the previous edition, two Ugandans won bronze and received $2,500 each, placing Uganda in the overall 15th position tied with Guinea in the rankings.
The team includes captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa (light welterweight) Ukasha Matovu (welterweight), Idriss Mukiibi (light-heavyweight), and Solomon Geko (super-heavyweight).
Others are Kasim Mulungi (featherweight), Joseph Kalema (minimum weight), Ssali Wasswa (lightweight), Muzamir Semuddu (light-middleweight), Ronald Okello (middleweight), Lawrence Kayiwa (cruiserweight), and James Baraka (super-heavyweight).
On the women’s side, Emily Nakalema (welterweight), Grace Nakinga (light flyweight), Naddia Najjeme (bantamweight), Sharua Ndagire (featherweight), Zahara Nandawula (lightweight), and Erina Namutebi (light welterweight) are prepared to make their mark.