Shoddy preps for London Olympics worrisome

Shoddy preps for London Olympics worrisome

The country’s hopes to send boxers to London went up in smoke on Wednesday when the remaining hopefuls, Emilian Patrick and Selemani Kidunda, lost their respective quarterfinal bouts in the ongoing AIBA Africa Boxing Qualifiers in Casablanca, Morocco.

The latest failures once again signifies that nothing solid seems to be going on, despite various major international competitions like the Olympic Games, where the country is expected to take part.

Our national boxing team trained for almost two months at the Filbert Bayi Secondary School in Kibaha. But shockingly, this same team could not compete in any meaningful test matches to gauge the boxers’ mettle before the crucial Casablanca qualifiers. Preparations for the qualifiers, especially for the boxing team, were plagued with lack of a proper training programme and a stable camp due to financial constraints.

This, alone, was ingredient for failure. Despite the support from the Boxing Federation of Tanzania (BFT) and Tanzania Olympic Committee (TOC), organizers managed to send only four boxers for the qualifiers instead of ten as planned. The latest failures just added salt to a fresh wound as ‘Team Tanzania’ is now heading on sending just two athletes in the quadrennial games in sharp contrast with next door neighbours Kenya who are sending a bulk of close to 200 athletes to the same games.

The national judokas team also failed miserably in the Olympic qualifiers held in Morocco last month, while only two runners -- Samson Ramadhani and Zakia Mrisho -- have so far managed hit qualification mark for the Games.

Tanzania is yet to win any medal in Olympic Games since Suleiman Nyambui and Filbert Bayi won it for the first and last time in 1980 Moscow Games and it is all clear that the country will be sending ‘skeleton’ all team to London.

Thorough preparations have never been a matter of urgency. We think it is time all sports associations, TOC and the government became serious and put to an end such wanton lip service. People are tired of lame excuses whenever our teams flop in major tournaments. They want to see medals and trophies instead.


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Author: EDITOR

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