Only Efe Ajagba out of 10 Nigerian boxers made certain his participation in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games billed for August in Rio Brazil.
The rest of the pugilists failed to pick their spots at the International Boxing Association (AIBA) African Olympic qualification event concluded in Cameroon last weekend. Though Nigeria Boxing Federation are still hopeful that the remaining boxers can still qualify in another competition billed for Azerbaijan in May, former African lightweight champion, Obisia Nwanpka believes the county must have to try harder in 2020.
“It is not over for us yet. We still have the chance to qualify for the Olympics in May. Most of our boxers failed to qualify in Cameroon because officiating was very poor. There were many instances where our boxers were robbed of points,” said Peter Omagbemi the assistant secretary-general of the federation.
Nwanpka submitted that Nigerian boxers weren’t psychologically prepared for the competition, adding that they were rushed into training.
“What we did in two weeks is what other countries will do for months. Besides, there wasn’t enough motivation for the boxers. Can you imagine that they were not paid their allowances. They went home empty handed.
“We need to arrest this slide in our country’s sports. In the past we had no problem qualifying our boxers for the Olympics.”