The national boxing team's medal hopes at the AIBA youth world championships in Armenia were dashed when Emmanuel Nsubuga lost the bantamweight contest last evening, writes Moses Mugalu. Nsubuga, one of Uganda's three boxers in Yerevan for the elite youth tournament, fell on points (28-14) to Germany's Omar El-Hag in the preliminary round bout of the 56kg weight category.
Coach Muhammed Hassan remarked that the teenage pugilist put on a 'good show but his German opponent landed more precise punches to outscore him.' Fazil Juma Kaggwa, Uganda's second pugilist, was scheduled to fight India's Polipalli Lalitha in the l/flyweight bout late last evening.
Team captain, Rogers Ssemitala, takes on Venezuelan Jose Acosta in the flyweight (52kg) category bout this evening. After two years of absence on the international scene, the junior Bombers had hoped to announce Uganda's return to the world stage with a bang in the 32-year-old tournament.
But with Nsubuga, making a false start in the first bout it won't be an easy task. Without a legitimate UABF (local boxing ruling body) in place, the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) took the mantle to prepare the team for the tournament.
And, because of a financial squeeze UOC slashed the squad to three from eight boxers who had been in camp since early November. A total of seventy-one boxers will compete for medals in the tournament.
Apart from Uganda, DR Congo and Gambia are also making their debut in the event. Only boxers born in 1994 and 1995 are legible to compete. This is the first time in two years that Ugandan boxers are participating in an international event. They missed out on 2012 Olympics and the World Championships last year because of the internal administrative wrangles.