Boxing trio confident of winning Zambia’s first Boxing Olympic medal in 36 years
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Boxing trio Evaristo Mulenga, Patrick Chinyemba and Stephen Zimba are confident that they can deliver Zambia’s first Olympic medal in 36 years but believe it would only be possible if they can have a good preparation ahead of the event slated for next year.
And despite the games not taking place until July in 2021, the boxers who qualified in February this year for the quadrennial event have already entered camp already at OYDC -Zambia Sports Development in Lusaka.
A check at the facility on Monday by the National Olympics Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) media team found the three boxers, Steven Zimba, Patrick Chinyemba and Evaristo Mulenga in the company of their coach Wisdom Mudenda just after finishing the morning session of their training.
The trio have been in camp since October 31 but started their official training on Monday November 2 and are expected to be there for three months.
Having been in camp for a few days now, Mulenga who is the captain of the team has expressed satisfaction with the training so far.
“We have just started training but we are still here, everything is going well and since we were also doing some activities at our clubs so we are not that bad in fitness,” he said.
Confidence is high among the boxers with Mulenga revealing that they are all confident of breaking Zambia’s long wait for another boxing medal at the games.
The last Zambian boxer to ever win an Olympic medal was Keith Mwila also known as ‘Spinks’ in 1984 who competed in the light flyweight category.
“We will come back with medals just like the late Keith Spinx Mwila, we can get to his level and even be better,” Mulenga added.
It is the kind belief that even his teammate Chinyemba shares. A month before this interview when asked about what he would expect in Tokyo, the boxer said; "When I look at my performance I will make it and I will come back with that medal. The medal is coming.
"The fights in Senegal were different, the only fighters I can consider are from Algeria, these others cannot compete."
But despite the confidence and the ongoing training at OYDC, Mulenga also expressed a desire to have an in international camp before going to the games.
“This training will help us but it would be nice if we were sent out of the country for camping. Just like our colleagues they are not in their countries. We want to train with other athletes.”
“We will come back with medals just like the late Keith Spinx Mwila, we can get to his level and even be better.”- Mulenga
Coach Mudenda meanwhile is impressed with the response of his boxers despite having been inactive largely due to the coronavirus.
But like his boxers, he too wants international exposure to help them ahead of the games next year.
“Boxers are responding well to training though we have spent a lot of time without any competition.
“Eight months is just too long for someone who is going to the Olympics, they will need to be exposed to a lot of international competition before the games.”
And just like Mulenga, he too believes medals can be won by Zambia in Tokyo; Once we are supported during our preparations that record would be broken of one medal, the best way is to assist these boys, they need to train with the best boxers from Cuba, Spain or France where they can train with already qualified boxers.”
The trio are expected to travel to Tanzania for a five nation tournament in December this year.