Uganda’s first female boxer at the Olympics Catherine Nanziri lost her fight to Japan’s Tsukimi Namiki via unanimous decision in the Round of 32 of the women’s flyweight division at the Kokugikan Arena.
The 21-year old Bunamwaya orthodox boxer scored 0-5 with one of the five judge’s cards reading 26-30 in favour of the hosts’ fighter.
Nanziri was aggressive and impressed right from the start but lost to a better and experienced fighter on the day.
She will feel hard done after failing to land her punches but will be hoping for a better day in near future.
It is a big milestone for Uganda Boxing Federation and the nation at large as Nanziri became the first female boxer for Uganda at the Olympics.
Uganda will hope for better fortunes when David Ssemujju steps in the ring on Monday while Shadir Musa Bwogi received a bye to round of 16.
Nanziri’s loss means that Uganda’s wait for a first win in Boxing at the Olympics continues since Sam Rukundo’s victory in 2004 Athens.
Better Days Ahead For Uganda Women Boxing
Boxing, just like Athletics and Netball, is one Sport where Uganda holds a niche. However, Uganda’s boxing success has been in the Men’s division.
Nanziri’s milestone is set to inspire a generation of more female boxers out there, with Uganda already blessed with some good talents including Emily Nakalema and Rebecca Amoding.
Nanziri came to light in 2018 when she won a silver at the National Intermediates under her first coach Muhammad Ssekanjako, then she settled for silver at the 2019 National Open Championships.
The African Qualifiers in Dakar was Nanziri’s first international event. And her only victory in Dakar came against Senegal’s Khadidja Timera, a home favourite and top contender.
With 200 points, Nanziri ranks 12th in the world women’s flyweight and fourth on the African continent. She qualified to Tokyo via rankings after all the top three in Africa had already qualified.
This Olympics platform is a great experience for her, previously Uganda’s women representation in boxing was in 2014 when the likes of Hellen Baleke, Diana Tulyanabo, Moureen Adhiambo and Diana Atwine represented the country at the World Women Boxing Championships in Jeju, Korea.
There is surely light at the end of the tunnel, and the gloves are in the hands of the Government (NCS) to provide more funding as Uganda Boxing Federation move to mould more girls out there.