Bombers coach Muhammad Hassan Mulandi, aka coach Meddie, affirms that the team he is taking to the All-Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco, is much fitter than the one he guided to gold at the African Confederation Championship.
This time coach Meddie takes only six boys and two girls to the Games that begin August 19. Even the coaching staff is limited to only two, yet in Brazzaville he had three deputies and a team of eight boys, three of whom won historic medals.
Muzamir Kakande, aka KingKong, won welterweight gold while bantamweight Geoffrey Kaketo and super heavy David Ayiti bagged silver. These were the first Ugandan boxers to reach major finals since 2004.
Two years later Coach Meddie says: “This team is much fitter than that of 2017. We’ve had serious residential training, had enough time with the boxers because all of us have been residing in the prison premises, without absenteeism, which is synonymous with the camps in Lugogo.”
He added: “Boxers normally sneak out of camp or front any excuses, even I in 2017 used to return home every evening but this time it’s been different. We have used our camp time better, improved our speed, power and scoring.”
Coach Meddie, head of the legendary Kampala Boxing Club, expects medals. “Inshallah, we shall win some medals though I can’t guarantee you which medals, how many and by who, but we hope. Remember, even in 2017, the medal favourites didn’t win medals, then Kakande and others surprised us.” Uganda last won boxing gold at the All Africa Games 20 years ago in South Africa. In the recent edition in Congo-Brazzaville 2015, only Kennedy Katende got bronze.
ALL-AFRICA GAMES RECORD
BEST RECENT PERFORMANCE
South Africa 1999
2 gold medals, 1 silver, 1 bronze