Olympics stage set for Nanziri

Take That. Uganda’s Nanziri (L) trades blows with an opponent during the African Olympic Qualifier. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

History Maker. The female Bomber lives her dream this morning as she becomes the first Ugandan pugilist in action when he faces Japan’s Namik Tsukimi.

Catherine Nanziri beat odds to become a boxer, beat local and continental opponents, but missed a direct ticket to the 2020 Olympics. But as fate would have it, she made it to the Tokyo Olympics. 
And now as she writes new chapter in the history books as the first ever Ugandan female to box at the Olympics, this morning, Nanziri also carries the burden of claiming Uganda’s first win at the Olympics since in 17 years.  Sam Rukundo was the last to do so before losing a quarterfinal bout at Athens 2004.

Nanziri takes on Japan’s Tsukimi Namik in the first preliminary round of the women’s flyweight division. 
Home away from home
Nanziri could, however, draw inspiration from the fact that her only victory at the African Olympic Qualifiers in 2020 in Dakar came against Senegal’s Khadidja Timera, loved by her home crowd and lauded among the ladies to watch. 

This is the third Olympic edition to entertain female boxers. The first time-London 2012-Ugandan boxing was at the peak of administrative wrangles and no Ugandan boxer featured.  Only two men represented Uganda at Rio 2016 but the 2020 edition, despite being delayed by the coronavirus disruptions, has come with luck to the Lady Bombers. 
Burden of a nation
At the African Olympic Qualifiers, in Dakar, Senegal, in February 2020, Nanziri, like her male compatriot David Ssemuju, lost box-offs and missed the tickets to the Olympics. 

The pair would later qualify through the ranking system in February 2021, after the World Olympics Qualifiers were cancelled due to the covid-19 disruptions in Europe. 

Catherine Nanziri
 


And despite lacking the ever-hyped experience and exposure, Nanziri also partly carries the burden of the expectation of being Uganda’s first female Olympic medalist. 
Middleweight Ssemuju, a silver medalist at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco, takes on renews rivalry with Algeria’’s Younes Nemouchi tomorrow. 

Catherine Nanziri

Date of Birth: Sep 13, 1999
Age: 21
Olympics Appearance: 1st
Discipline: Boxing
Event: Women’s Fly (48-51kg)
Date: July 25 (Last 32)
Stance: Orthodox
Major Event: 2020 Africa Olympic Qualifiers


THE SCHEDULE
DAY THREE SCHEDULE - TODAY

3X3 BASKETBALL
4am: Japan vs. Mongolia
4:40am: Romania vs. Italy
4pm: Netherlands vs. China
BOXING
5am: Women’s flyweight last 32
EQUESTRIAN
11am: Individual dressage
FENCING
1:50pm: Women’s Individual foil
JUDO
12:08pm: Women’s 52kg
SKATEBOARDING
6:25am: Men’s Street final
TAEKWONDO
2:30pm: Women’s 57kg
WEIGHTLIFTING
9:50am: Men’s 61kgEvent Training

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