By Victor Kanayo
After taking part in the just concluded Africa Olympic Boxing qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal, three Nigerian boxers have now qualified for the Paris 2024 Games.
That was after winning their bouts in the final of the competition.
En Route To Paris
Nine boxers travelled to Dakar to represent Nigeria at the qualifiers, eight advanced to the quarter-finals, and six made it to the semi-finals of the competition, while three qualified for the final. All three claimed gold medals after beating their opponents.
The journey to glory began with a monumental clash as Cynthia Ogunsemilore squared off against Algeria’s Khelif Hadjila in the Women’s 60kg category.
The Nigerian powerhouse left no room for doubt, securing a remarkable unanimous decision victory (5-0) as she clinched the first gold medal for Nigeria at the competition.
Joshua Omole picked up where Ogunsemilore left off when he entered the ring to face Ethiopia’s Leta Yadesa in the Men’s 57kg category. With unyielding determination, Omole secured a unanimous decision victory (5-0), earning himself the featherweight gold medal.
In a fitting finale, Adam Olaore battled Algeria’s Houmri Mohamed in the Men’s 92kg category. The battle was fierce, but Olaore showcased his determination, securing a split decision win (4-1) to become a 2X African Champion and solidified his place as the third Nigerian boxer to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In total, Team Nigerian won six medals at the tournament with three gold medals claimed by the winners in the finals and three bronze medals secured by Adeola Oyesiji in the flyweight, Nene Ojo in the featherweight, and Patricia Mbata in the middleweight.
Team Nigeria’s boxers were accompanied by two coaches, Anthony Konyegwachie who competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics and Adura Olalehin.
These boxers have achieved their Olympic dreams and qualified Nigeria for it’s first Games since 2016 as they aim to win the nation’s first boxing Olympic medals since 1996 where Duncan Dokiwari claimed a bronze medal in the super heavyweight division.