OBFT set to hire Cuban coach for national boxing team

11Jan 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
OBFT set to hire Cuban coach for national boxing team

THE Tanzania Open Boxing Federation (OBFT) is in the process of recruiting a Cuban coach to train the national boxing team for the Tokyo Olympics slated for this year.

National Service (JKT) Club's Boniface Mlingwa (R) aims a punch at Magereza Boxing Club's Issa Athuman in one of this year's National Boxing Championship's fights, which took place at Tanganyika Packers venue in Dar es Salaam recently. Mlingwa won by points. PHOTO; CORRESPONDENT JUMANNE JUMA

Tanzania will send six boxers to an international competition in France in May, which serves as qualifiers for the Olympics.

Boxers who will perform well in the qualifiers will represent the country in the July Olympics in Japan.

Lukelo Wililo, OBFT Secretary General, stated that the 16-member national team will enter camp under coaches, David Yombayomba and Hassan Mzonge, as the federation prepares to bring in the head coach.

"We are bringing in a head coach in collaboration with the Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC)," Wililo noted.

He disclosed: "We had a joint session with the committee recently and one of their support for our preparations for the Olympics was to bring us a coach from abroad.''

"Our first choice was to hire a coach from either Cuba or Kazakhstan, if we fail due to the challenges of the COVID-19, then we will hire a coach from Kenya, but that is the last resort, should we get stuck in our quest for having a coach from either Cuba or Kazakhstan," he said.

Tanzania's fourth phase government had recruited foreign coaches for some of the state-sponsored sports, including boxing, with the national team being trained by Cuban Pimentel Hurtado.

"We have had challenges for our coaches due to the merits of the Olympics' qualifiers, we will have a foreign coach," Wililo said.

He said the national boxing team's provisional squad consisting of 16 boxers will start training at the Ngome Boxing Club in Dar es Salaam later this month under local coaches while waiting for the foreign coach.

He disclosed: "When the head coach arrives, the team will officially go outside Dar es Salaam for more practice. We will be looking for a region with cold weather for hosting the camp because the weather will, by the time we head for the Games, be cold.''

He said the national team that will participate in the Olympic qualifiers will be selected from the provisional squad.

Boxing is one of sports that have athletes regularly representing the country in Olympics.

Domestic athletes, Failuna Abdi and Alphonse Simbu, have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics....read more on https://epaper.ippmedia.com