There were mixed fortunes for Team South Africa’s pugilists at the Olympic boxing qualifying tournament in North Africa on Sunday, writes Mark Etheridge.
The Casablanca, Morocco tournament is the last chance for our boxers to book their berth on Team SA for the London Games later this year. Our women boxers will be in action in China in a few weeks time.
Four of our men were in action but only one emerged victorious on day one of the competition.
That was in the 60kg division where Sinethemba Bam got our campaign underway with a fine win against Jean Collins from Mauritius┬á(points 17-12). It was a very close contest but Bam was a deserved winner, said team
Three other boxers also took up the cudgels but were less fortunate, Tulani Mbenge lost on points 11-8 to Sid Berrag from Algeria, Akani Phuzi lost on points 20-15 to Maxwell Amponsah from Ghana and Renson Hobwana lost on points 12-4 to Leronne Richards from Ghana. Although they tried their best, they were the losers.
Next bouts for Team SA will be Bam vs Shalig Chitou from Benin, Siphiwe Lusize vs Kitson Julie from the Seychelles, Lebogang Pilani vs Abdeila Daraa from Marocco and Ayabonga Sonjica vs Honore Nzungu from Democratic Republic of the Congo.