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A CONFIDENT five-member Zambian boxing team left for Morocco yesterday to compete in the African Olympic qualifiers with an eye on the 2012 London Games.
Zambia’s potential medal prospects led by coaches Elias Kataya and Gibson Kasonde left aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and are expected in Casablanca today ahead of the preliminaries tomorrow.
The squad has Bazila Ngosa (welterweight), Mombela Mukuni (bantamweight), Gilbert Choombe (light-welterweight), Obed Mutapa (flyweight) and Christopher Katanga (light flyweight).
Zambia Amateur Boxing Federation (ZABF) general secretary, Bright Chomba said the federation had confidence in the boxers selected for the Morocco outing, the only qualifier for the London Olympic Games.
Chomba said in Chililabombwe yesterday that while the tournament was expected to be competitive, ZABF was sure of picking up a minimum of three tickets to the London Games scheduled for July 27 to August 12.
Since there would be no wild cards for boxers at the London Games, the local pugilists just need to put up their best showing in Casablanca to be assured of qualification to the quadrennial multi-sport spectacle.
With limited resources, ZABF opted not to send a delegation leader but two coaches and the five boxers after raising only $7,000 for the Morocco outing.
Chomba regretted that middleweight boxer Ben Muziyo, a medal prospect for Zambia, was dropped from the squad after reporting late for camp.
He said Muziyo had lost out on a chance to fight at the London Games and would now have to wait for future international competitive tournaments in order to prove his worth.
Chomba said after the Morocco outing, ZABF wanted to concentrate on preparations for the 2012 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Under-20 games which Zambia would host later this year.
ZABF has since summoned all district coaches for a technical committee meeting this Saturday in Kitwe to plan for the SADC Games.