15 December 2012

Zambia: Kanyanta Now Targets Commonwealth Games

BOXING coach Kennedy Kanyanta is now targeting winning more medals with his boxers at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games following an impressive showing at the 2012 Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Youth Games.

Speaking in an interview after three of his seven boxers delivered gold for Zambia, Kanyanta said all his seven boxers had passed the first test and that they looked good enough to go a step further and challenge for medals at the Commonwealth Games to be staged in Scotland.

Kanyanta said though he had observed some weakness in the boxers during the tournament, the problem was understandable considering that the boxers' age and them taking part in their first competitive international tournament.

"I am happy with their performance. They fought well and they showed that they were willing to learn. That is what is important for them at this age. All that is needed now is to put them on a progressive programme.

These are the boxers who will be Zambia's representatives at the 2014 Commonwealth Games so they have to be monitored through every stage so they go to the Games ripe," said Kanyanta, himself a gold medal winner in the bantamweight category at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Kanyanta urged the boxers to remain disciplined and that hard work was the key to having a luminous boxing career and that at their tender age, they needed to work even harder and having a listening ear so they could learn more about the ins and outs of the sport.

Zambia had seven boxers at the Zone Six Games winning six medals, three gold, two silvers and a bronze with Obedy Mutapa being the only boxer who missed out on the medal.

Meanwhile, Team-Botswana has claimed that middleweight boxer Kenneth Okwoleng was knocked out and later passed out in the ring during a gold medal bout because he was punched below the belt by Zambia's Mbachi Kaonga.

Chef De Mission Ookeditse Malesu charged yesterday that it was an illegal punch that sent his boxer into an unconscious state but quickly said that the pugilist was now back on his feet and was being observed in hospital.

Maluse said Okwoleng was up and running but that he remained under observation in hospital and was confident the boxer would be discharged today.

"He is recovering well, he is much better and I can confirm that he is up and running but he remains in hospital for now for observation.

He did not go down as a result of a punch. Information I got from the doctors is that he got punched below the belt, he said.

Okwoleng went to the canvas in the second round of middleweight contest against Kaonga and fainted as medics were attending to him and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and onto a waiting ambulance and rushed to the hospital.

Okwolong had in the first round also just gone cold and needed a mandatory eighth-count before he continued but there was no way back as he went to the canvas and ended up at the hospital.

Despite the anguish, Okwolong came off with a silver medal for his country.

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