Bombers tally a decline from previous shows

Nkobeza is one of the to Bombers who won medals at the African Championships in Maputo. BY JOHN BATANUDDE

What you need to know:

$10,000; $5000 and $2500 money prizes from the organisers await each gold, silver and bronze medallist.

Of the seven Ugandan boxers at the 2022 AFBC African Boxing Championships which end today in Maputo, Mozambique, only two will return with medals.

Featherweight Jonah Kyobe and middleweight Yusuf Nkobeza, who were in semi-final action by press time yesterday, got the honour of the medal and each will return at least Shs10m richer, courtesy of prize money.

$10,000; $5000 and $2500 money prizes from the organisers await each gold, silver and bronze medallist.

The rest of the Bombers will rue another missed opportunity. “you have now got the experience,” Uganda Boxing Federation president Moses Muhangi challenged them at the flag off last week. “You have no excuse not to win medals.” Those words will haunt them. Until another shot at redemption, probably next year.

These African Championships last happened in 2017 in Brazzaville-Congo. Muzamir Kakande scooped gold, while Geoffrey Kakeeto and David Ayiti got silver in a record-breaking performance that followed five bronze medals in 2015 in Casablanca, Morocco. Maputo pales in comparison.

Even if Kyobe and Nkobeza won gold in today’s final, nothing will exonerate the other five, three of whom failed to reach the podium at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last month.

The preps were inadequate, and the government’s failure to release funds to UBF is inexcusable. But the federation can’t get away with its refusal to test the Commonwealth team in selection trials, while the league through which they were selected went on. Worse still, the Bombers never had sparring partners.  

In comparison, of the eight Kenyans at Maputo, four made the semi-finals. DR Congo had six in the medal bracket.