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MBABANE – Team Eswatini’s journey at the International Boxing Association (IBA) World Championships is turning out to be a nightmare.

The flagship boxing event is taking place at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. After this publication reported that two boxers in Chawe Gamedze and Zweli Dlamini were disqualified under unfortunate circumstances; more disturbing news came in from the team’s camp.


As of yesterday, Eswatini had only one boxer remaining in the IBA World Championships after Thabiso Dlamini had lost, leaving Sibonelo ‘Mayweather’ Ndzimandze representing Eswatini and he will take to the ring tomorrow. Eswatini had Gamedze, Ndzimandze, Thabiso and Zweli Dlamini as the boxers representing the country on the biggest stage. Zweli and Gamedze’s situation had left the nation with only Sibonelo and Thabiso to hoist the country’s flag. Thabiso, who got a scholarship to train in Russia, was in the ring on Tuesday night, but lost 0-5 to Zhantoro Tashiev from Kyrgyzstan in the Light welterweight division. Kyrgyzstan or the Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north; Uzbekistan to the west; Tajikistan to the south; and the People’s Republic of China to the east.


Reacting to the disqualification, the Eswatini Boxing Association Secretary General (SG) Nathi Dlamini stated that officials were made available by the hosting country to ensure that the athletes, coaches and, especially the team managers knew where they were supposed to be and the exact time. He mentioned that it was done for all sporting codes, but it was not the designated official’s duty to summon athletes from their hotel rooms. “They have officials who make sure you are aware of what is going on and at what time, but it is not their job to come and get the athletes from their hotel rooms. The transport will only wait for a certain period of time at the location one is supposed to be picked up at,” expressed Dlamini. He continued to mention that Chawe and Zweli were unfortunate for not being made aware by management of the correct weighing times.


As a result, the bus that transports them to and from the boxing area had left. Fortunately for Thabiso and Sibonelo, they were able to make it on time for their weigh in. While the IBA Championship continues, boxers who have been eliminated will join a training camp that was organised by the hosting country. “This is for the benefit of the boxers as well as the coaches to share ideas on how they may improve the sport in their countries,” mentioned Dlamini. He shared that the boxers would enjoy at least a week of professional training before they could head back, which is not a total loss for the boxers.


“This opportunity will also highlight the possibilities of the direction boxing can take you in professionally, where you will be able to have a sustainable income and exposure to better opportunities,” he said. Meanwhile, one of the boxers in Russia, Ndzimandze, through his WhatsApp status, had alleged that all was not well as they lacked the basics that included uniform and allowances. IBA mainly covers costs for the trip.

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