As boxers lose first bouts at World Championships
Senior Boxing National Team coach Lechedzani Luza has cited lack of proper preparations as one of the contributing factors for his team’s poor performance at the on-going Women’s World Boxing Championships in Sochi, Russia.
After the men’s team snubbed the competition due to fatigue Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) sent three female boxers to the competition in Lethabo Modukanele (49kg), Keamogetse Kenosi (60kg) and Aratwa Kasemang (63kg) to prove their worth against the best in the world.
However, Botswana’s stay at the event was cut short as all the boxers lost their first bouts at the tournament – a performance which head coach Luza says didn’t come as a shock considering that they did not prepare well for the tournament and didn’t get enough rest after the All Africa Games in Morocco.
African silver medalist Kasemang lost 5-0 to Milana Safronova of Kazakhstan in the preliminaries while it was tough bouts for Kenosi and Modukanele who lost by “Referee Stops Contest” to Venezuela and Japan respectively.
“So many factors did affect our performance; partly it was because of experience and lack of good preparations because we were not in good shape as compared to our opponents. You could tell even when we tried to punch we didn’t have the power and we couldn’t move at the right time and counter punch at the right time. So it is more of preparations. We didn’t prepare well and we need more time to prepare our boxers and fine tune their basics so there is a lot we have to do in terms of their techniques and tactical approach,” said Luza.
Despite the dismal performance Luza believes the pugilists did get some experience more so that all boxing powerhouses were at the competition. “I believe boxers have learnt a lot looking at how people box at this level. I would say the other thing we are benefiting greatly from is we are organising sparring with nations which have finished their bouts so now it is like training camp so it is a great opportunity for us,” he said.
Earlier this year BoBA put in a very good programme for the team which was gearing up for the Africa games and that paid as the team managed to scoop three gold medals for their efforts.
According to Luza its high time BoBA has a full time coach because it is the only way which can bear results for Botswana.
“Immediately after Morocco we could have gone somewhere to prepare because we have always known that we were going to the World Championships. Even me I wasn’t released from work which means I only worked with boxers in the evening and that was not enough. In other countries coaches are with their boxers full time so it’s only in Botswana where we have coaches as volunteers. We can’t have results if we continue like this, we should forget,” said Luza.