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Uganda Risks Failing to Send Boxers to Olympics :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Uganda Risks Failing to Send Boxers to Olympics

Uganda failed to qualify any boxer at the continental qualifying event where a total of 139 spots were assigned to a specific number of highest-ranked boxers in each weight category. All six boxers who represented the country in the Dakar qualifiers were eliminated, including the team captain, Joshua Tukamuhebwa.
Moses Muhangi - UBF President

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Uganda Boxing Federation President Moses Muhangi has said that Uganda could fail to have a single boxer qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Muhangi's concern stems from the delayed commencement of preparations for the second round of Olympic qualifiers in Italy which is the second last chance after failing to qualify in the first window of the qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal which took place in September 2023.  

Uganda failed to qualify any boxer at the continental qualifying meeting, where a total of 139 spots were assigned to a specific number of highest-ranked boxers in each weight category. All six boxers who represented the country in the Dakar qualifiers were eliminated, including the team captain, Joshua Tukamuhebwa. 

The series of disappointments began with Grace Nankinga and Jonah Kyobe being eliminated in the initial rounds before Shadir Musa Bwogi, who had initially received a bye was also eliminated by Algeria’s Nemouchi Younes, and later Joshua Tukamuhebwa, who had won two previous fights, and carried the last hopes for the Bombers was defeated by Colin Richarno from Mauritius.

Muhangi faults the disagreements that erupted between the Federation and the National Olympic Committee over the selection of players for having frustrated the preparations and subsequently affected their performance. 

//Cue in: eno quarter eyokubiri …

Cue out: … kuyisaawo mwana”// 

The disagreement arose shortly after the Uganda Olympic Committee announced a list of nine athletes for the Dakar games, reintroducing former accomplished boxers like Shadir Musa Bwogi and David Semujju—a decision Muhangi expressed discomfort with. 

Muhangi explained that the Federation had preferred boxers participating in the Boxing Champions League, as they could monitor their performance, unlike those absent from the Federation's setup. 

However, while Muhangi faults local factors to have had an impact on Uganda’s chance to qualify a single boxer through the continental widow, it should be noted that the number of slots for the continental qualifiers was also reduced drastically. 

According to the International Olympic Committee qualification pathway released earlier, only 13 boxers-seven men and six women had to pass through the continental window to represent Africa compared to the 50 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

For the men, there were only 7 weight categories and only the Gold medalist would qualify for the Olympic games from each category, unlike in 2020 where there were 8 categories and 22 boxers qualified.  This reduction meant that the African boxer must be at his or her very best and have luck on their side to get that coveted ticket to Paris. 

Now, after failing to qualify a single boxer in the Dakar Window, Uganda’s last opportunities to secure qualification for this year’s Summer’s Olympic Games in Paris depends on two world qualification tournaments: one in Busto Arzizio, Italy, that will start from March 3rd to 11th, 2024, and the other in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 23 to June 3.  

However, the Boxing Federation has yet to select a team because they have no funds to have the team in camp, just days before the tournament in Italy. Muhangi also faults the National Council of Sports-NCS for failing to provide the necessary funds to the Federation to kick off preparations. 

//Cue in: kati chance …

Cue out: … kwolifayinga mutya”// 

In the last edition of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Uganda took three boxers but it was only team Captain Shadir Musa Bwogi who 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) only joined him through the International Olympic Committee IOC Boxing Task Force arrangement of qualifying Fifty-three quota places based on rankings in their regions. 

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