Fighters vow to honour Geingob

Jonas Jonas will lead the Namibian boxing team to the World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, from 4 to 11 March. File photo

Six Namibian fighters intend to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games to honour the memory of president Hage Geingob.

The late president was known for his love of sport, and one of his most iconic moments came ringside in 1998, when as prime minister Geingob passionately cheered for the legendary Harry Simon as he captured the WBO junior middleweight title against American favourite Winky Wright.

Team manager Titus Muunda Joseph says his boxers will take motivation from Geingob’s memory as they fight for a place in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The boxers have the opportunity to punch their ticket to Paris at the first World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, from 4 to 11 March.

“We had a championship where all the regions participated. All of them who are selected are gold medalists, so they are the best among the best. We’re hungry to qualify,” Joseph said yesterday, when the team received a nutrition and medical sponsorship from DeoPharma in Windhoek.

If they fail to qualify in Italy, they can try again between 23 May and 3 June in Bangkok, Thailand.

“In terms of fitness, we’re at 80%. There’s still two weeks to go [to the qualifier], so we’re going to polish them so that they can be 100%,” Joseph said.

“We’re going through a difficult time as our president passed on. So, we’re going to do it for our president. We’ll make sure that when we go there, all our boys will qualify. We’re ready, it’s going to be difficult but I promise you fellow Namibians, we’re going to qualify.”

Jonas Junias Jonas headlines the team, which also consists of Try Again Ndevelo, Petrus Festus, Johannes Trofimus, Gebhard Ipinge and Elifas Shailemo.

The team leaves for Italy on 28 February and returns on 13 March.

Petrus vowed to reach the top of the podium in Italy.

“It is my first time but my aim is to bring a gold medal to the Land of the Brave. One thing is that I have trust in myself and my team. The aim and mission is one. It is to bring back a gold medal. Namibia, trust in us, we’re going to give everything so expect good results from us,” Petrus said.

DeoPharma managing director Herman Maritz hopes that supporting the team will propel them to realising their Olympic dream.

“The team doctor asked us if we can get involved. We’ve previously been involved with sponsoring the team that went to the Commonwealth Games,” Maritz said.

“So, we stand behind them. As a Namibian pharmaceutical company, we develop our products to be top quality, competing with the best in the world,” Maritz added.

“We believe our athletes should also be equipped to compete against the best in the world. So, we give them the supplements and medicine to keep them healthy and maintain a top standard.”

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