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Ugandan Boxer Misses Olympic Qualifiers for Late Arrival :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Ugandan Boxer Misses Olympic Qualifiers for Late Arrival

Moses Muhangi, President of the Uganda Boxing Federation, attributed the mishap to the absence of a team manager accompanying the contingent. “The absence of officials & team management for the bombers in the Italy Olympics qualifiers started to bite, hence the Uganda bombers' first loss as Mawanda Shafic lost by walkover... Just because he failed to make it to the competition venue on time.”
Mawanda managed to weigh in but failed to reach the bout venue on time
Uganda's aspirations in the Olympic Boxing qualifiers suffered another significant setback as lightweight contender Shafic Mawanda missed his scheduled bout due to late arrival at the competition venue. Mawanda was set to face Singapore’s Teo Wei Xuan in the men's 51kg category.

However, the Ugandan boxer failed to make it to the ring punctually, resulting in a walkover for his opponent.   This setback compounds the challenges facing the Ugandan contingent vying for Olympic qualification in the Paris Olympic Games qualifiers, currently underway in Busto Arsizio, Italy. Moses Muhangi, President of the Uganda Boxing Federation, attributed the mishap to the absence of a team manager accompanying the contingent. 

“The absence of officials & team management for the bombers in the Italy Olympics qualifiers started to bite, hence the Uganda bombers' first loss as Mawanda Shafic lost by walkover... Just because he failed to make it to the competition venue on time.” 

A group of six, comprising four boxers and two coaches, departed the country on Friday morning, despite Mawanda's bout being scheduled for Sunday. The boxers on the team include Joshua Tukamuhebwa, Yusuf Nkobeza, Emily Nakalema, and Shafic Mawanda. 

However, the team traveled without a delegation leader or team manager, whose role, according to Muhangi, is crucial in coordinating accommodation, meals, medical needs, transportation, and uniforms for the team, among other responsibilities. Uganda’s qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games has long been uncertain, with the Boxing governing body often accusing the National Olympic Committee of insufficient support to qualify at least one boxer.

Last month, Muhangi expressed concerns that Uganda might fail to secure qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. His apprehension stemmed from delayed preparations for the second round of Olympic qualifiers in Italy, following the team's failure to qualify any boxers in the first window of qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal, held in September 2023. 

The ongoing competition represents Uganda’s second-to-last opportunity to secure qualification for this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Paris, after failing to qualify a single boxer in the Dakar Window last year. The final opportunity lies in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 23 to June 3. In the previous edition of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Uganda sent three boxers, but only team Captain Shadir Musa Bwogi directly qualified for the games after defeating Ghana’s Lartey Jessie in a third-place box-off bout in the Men’s Welterweight category in the Africa Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal. 

The other two boxers, Catherine Nanziri and David Ssemujju, joined him through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force arrangement, which allocated quota places based on regional rankings.