Uganda National Boxing team, the Bombers, are basking in glory following their success at the 2023 AFBC African Boxing Championships.
The tournament held in Yaoundé, Cameroon, concluded on Saturday with the Bombers winning seven medals, their best ever collection at the event.
Two boxers – Erina Namutebi and Wasswa Ssali – won silver while five – Ronald Okello, Matovu Ukasha, Solomon Geko Kozaala, Grace Nankinga and Emily Nakalema settled for bronze.
The team touched base at Entebbe International Airport alongside Uganda Boxing Federation President Moses Muhangi.
Uganda Boxing Federation took a team of 17 boxers (11 men and 6 women) at the event, and the success has been visible for a team that won two medals (bronze) by Jonathan Kyobe (57kg) and Yusuf Nkobeza (75kg) last year in Maputo.
This marks a successful spell in Ugandan Sports after the Gazelles (7th) and She Cranes (5th) performance at the Afrobasket and Netball World Cup in recent weeks while St Noa won bronze at the World Schools Championships.
And the bombers will feel they could have won more in Yaounde given that they were already guaranteed of three medals before the winners stepped even in the ring.
The three – Namutebi, Nankinga and Geko – started their journey at the semifinal stage – where a medal is already in the bag, bronze the least in case of a loss – when the draws were conducted due to a limited number of boxers in their respective weights.
Geko lost his semifinal fight to Zacharie Serge Mvogo of Cameroon when the Referee Stopped the Contest (RSC) decision in Round One to settle for bronze.
Nankinga also faced the RSC decision in the First Round against Congolese Nyembo Muamba to settle for bronze.
Elina Namutebi on the other hand, went past the semifinal where she beat Mozambican Isabel Sandra Mulungo via RSC, but she was stopped by Algerian Chahib Hichrak in Round Two (RSC) to settle for silver.
Ssali dug his way into the final after beating Naba Ousmane of Burkina Faso in the Quarterfinal to enter the medal bracket.
In the semis, he beat Idris Kitangila of DRC to reach the final where gold was at stake, but he was beaten by Sanele Sogcwayi of South Africa who claimed gold.
Emily Nakalema beat Nigerian Peter Kate Isim in the Quarters before a defeat against Ivanusa Gomes Moreira of Cape Verde in the semifinal to settle for bronze.
Ukasha beat Senegalese Diop Cheikh Tidiane in the quarterfinals before a defeat to Zengala Malenga Boniface (DR Congo).
Ronald Okello beat Obama Mangue Raul Abaga of Equatorial Guinea before defeat against David Tshama (DR Congo) in the semifinals to also settle for bronze.
The other ten boxers were stopped before reaching the medal brackets stage of semifinals.
The two silver medalists won 10,000$ each (Sh35m) while each bronze medalist will be given Sh17m by the Africa Boxing body.
However, the latest developments from the body indicated that Coaches will get 10% and federations 20% from the boxers’ prize money.
“The taxed money will be sent direct to the federations and the boxers’ prize money to their bank accounts,” read part of the statement.
Boxing Powerhouse Morocco finished atop the medal standings with 8 gold, 2 silver, and 3 bronze medals.
DR Congo finished second with 5 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze medals.
Algeria was third with 4 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze, closely followed by Hosts Cameroon and Mozambique in the top five.
Uganda finished ninth at the event that attracted 25 Countries.