Tue, 09 Apr 2024 Boxing

Black Bombers face uncertainty over Olympic qualifiers

By Graphic Sports
Black Bombers face uncertainty over Olympic qualifiers

The fate of Ghana's national boxing team, Black Bombers, hangs in the balance as they brace themselves for the final Olympic qualifiers in Bangkok, Thailand, next month.

Despite uncertainties surrounding their participation, Coach Kwasi Ofori Asare is wasting no time by commencing training with his boxers today.

He said that despite the uncertainty over Ghana's participation in the May 23 - June 3 qualifiers which presents the last opportunity for boxers to vie for one of the 51 coveted spots at Paris 2024, he is going ahead with training while awaiting the green light from the boxing authorities in order not to be caught unprepared for the competition.

"We don't know yet if we will go to the qualifiers in Bangkok or not, but we must train and prepare should we be told we are going by the authorities," he told the Graphic Sports in an interview on Sunday, April 7.

  • Team selection

He added that if the team got the green light to go to the event, he would give priority to members of the Black Bombers team who won medals at the recent African Games in Ghana.

"We have the nucleus of the Black Bombers already, so selection to Bangkok won't be much of a problem," he told the Graphic Sports.

No Ghanaian boxer has yet qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics despite participating in two Olympic qualifiers in Dakar and in Italy last month.

After a disappointing performance in the African Championships in the Senegalese capital and at the first world qualifying competition of the year in Busto Arsizio, Italy, the Bangkok competition presents the only route for Ghanaian boxers to punch their tickets to the Olympic Games.

Even in the face of uncertainty, optimism runs in the team, with the trainer hopeful that the authorities will raise the necessary funds to get some boxers to Bangkok next month.

  • Optimism

"If we go to Bangkok, some boxers will qualify there and we will get a representative at the Olympics," he told the Graphic Sports.

He denied reports that light-heavyweight boxer, Abubakar Kamoko, one of Ghana's medallists at the African Games, had been omitted from the team being considered to participate in the Bangkok qualifiers.

"Nothing is settled yet and it is the boxers who are trying to test the waters by sending speculative stories to the media," he stated.

Refuting accusations of favouritism, Coach Asare shed light on the inclusion of African Games gold medallist, Mohammed Aryeetey, who claimed he begged to be included in the team for the continental competition.

"Aryeetey should be grateful. He did not qualify to be in the team by virtue of him not participating in the national championship which served as the justify-your-inclusion exercise for the games.

He is a professional boxer but we considered him and rather ignored the eventual Ghana representative who qualified for the games and replaced him with Aryeetey," he explained.