Thirteen national team boxers, nicknamed The Bombers, are in the race to qualify for the Olympic Games due later this year in Tokyo, Japan.
The team, comprising eight men and five women, flew out to Dakar, Senegal on Sunday, February 16 ahead of the African Olympic qualifier, which punches off today, February 20.
Before departure, The Bombers camped at Luzira prisons to prepare for the week-long continental qualifying event. Team manager Zebra Ssenyange told The Observer that although perfect team preparations are rated on staying in a five-star hotel, Luzira prisons gave them a semblance of that. And they had no complaints whatsoever.
He said: “We needed to stay in a place, where we were free to do whatever boosted the psychology of the boxers, allowed them to focus and relaxed their minds. We got all that in Luzira Prisons. The boxers left for Senegal a happy team.”
The metallic double-decker beds on which they slept in cubicles of two notwithstanding, the camp in Luzira Prisons offered a lot. Coach Patrick Lihanda said the hostel in which they stayed provided utmost exclusivity, including convenience rooms with flushing toilets.
The Bombers had their own chef around the clock. They also had a gym they could access anytime, and a field, where they played football to relax the muscles.
With each receiving $1,000 or Shs 3.6 million allowance, The Bombers are well-motivated to reach the medal bracket of the qualifier. Finalists will automatically qualify for the Olympics.
Men: Disan Mubiru (flyweight), Adnan Yasin (lightweight), Shadir Musa Bwogi (welterweight), Solomon Geko (heavyweight), Alex Bwambale (heavyweight), Isaac Masembe (featherweight), David Ssemujju (middleweight) and Joshua Male (light heavyweight)
Women: Catherine Nanziri (flyweight), Rebecca Amongi (lightweight), Emily Nakalema (welterweight), Suzan Akello (featherweight) and Doreen Nassali (middleweight).