The national boxing team will miss the Commonwealth Games scheduled for April 4-15 in Queensland, Australia, the National Olympic Committee (RNOSC) president, Ambassador Valens Munyabagisha has confirmed.
Boxing was among the five disciplines that had been selected for the games – others are; athletics, cycling, beach volleyball and Para power lifting.
However, according to Munyabagisha, the Rwanda Amateur Boxing Federation (RABA) did not fulfill the required criteria for representing the country in Australia.
“The boxing federation has not organized the national championship for the last three years and last year, they did not organize any competitions, so taking them (to the Commonwealth Games) would be a waste of resources,” Ambassador Munyabagisha said on Tuesday.
Efforts by Times Sport to get a comment from RABA president, Vick Kalisa, proved futile as he did not answer our repeated calls by press time.
The 2014 All Africa Youth Games bronze medalist Jean Pierre Cyiza (lightweight) and female boxer Ratifa Ujeneza (flyweight), who had started preparations this month, confirmed the news, saying “it’s a missed opportunity.”
The boxing team also missed last year’s Africa Boxing Continental Championship held in Brazzaville. Still, on the very last minute, the Ministry of Sports and Culture gave RABA news that they did not expect, that the team would not travel to Brazzaville because it was not “well prepared.”
By missing the Commonwealth Games, Rwanda also missed the opportunity at the attempt to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Rwanda joined the Commonwealth in November 2009 during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago, becoming the grouping’s 54th member.
The country made her debut in 2010 Commonwealth Games during the 19th edition in Delhi, India, taking part in athletics, boxing, cycling and swimming.
In Gold Coast, Australia, Rwanda will be represented in athletics (six athletes), including; two in men’s 5000m, one in men’s full marathon as well as one in women’s 10,000m, one in 1500m and one in 800m.
The delegation will also include cycling (six men and three women riders), who will compete in the road race and individual time trial. Women’s beach volleyball team and one in men’s Para Powerlifting.