Two Nigerian boxers qualify for London Olympics
Two Nigerian boxers, Muideen Akanji and Lukman Lawal have both qualified for the London 2012 Olympics after the confirmation was made by the International Boxing Association.
A total of 48 male boxers qualified from the African Olympic Qualifying Event which was held in Casablanca, Morocco with Nigeria having only two after taking four male boxers to the last qualification boxing competition for the Olympics.
Both Akanji and Lawal lost in the semi-finals of their respective categories but did enough to earn qualification tickets for the London 2012 games.
In the 75kg category, Akanji, who won bronze at the last All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique was defeated by Morocco’s Badr-Eddine Haddioui,and Lawal losing to another Moroccan Ahmed Bakri in the 81kg category.
Morocco has the highest number of qualification spots for the Olympics with seven representatives, followed by Algeria with six, Egypt will be parading five boxers, while Cameroon and Ghana both have four boxers each, and Tunisia will be completing the list with three boxers.
Nigeria joins the likes of Gabon, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa as countries who will be going to London with two boxers each.
Patrick Uwagbale Secretary of the Nigeria Boxing Federation said the tournament was not easy for the boxers but expressed hope in the chances of the female team.
“It was keenly contested but our boxers did well because none of them lost their first fights. We still have a chance to increase the boxing team when our ladies compete in China this week,” Uwagbale said.