By Shane Saroya – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
18-year-old boxer Thadius Katua, might not be a household name at the moment, but fresh from his gold medal winning performance at the recent Youth Commonwealth Games held in Samoa, he sure might become one.
After winning gold in the 60kg bantamweight division, Katua is the first ever athlete from PNG to bag a gold medal at the youth games.
The young man from a small village in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville started boxing at an early age, showing skills and a level of determination that has carried him through to where he is today.
Katua has had some struggles along the way, most notably when his longtime coach passed away and that left him questioning whether he should continue to pursue a career in boxing or not.
It was his older brother who insisted that he should continue on with his personal training, and with sheer determination and commitment, it paid off.
He was called back to Port Moresby by the PNG Boxing Federation to train and prepare for the 2015 Pacific Games.
Katua trained alone without a coach back in his home village in Bougainville, still with a hunger to succeed.
At home he had little support and could only manage with a pair of gloves and boxing bag.
The valiant young boxer took the limelight, when he won gold in the lightweight division at the recent Pacific Games
His win in the youth games now qualifies him for Rio 2016, where it will be the youngster’s biggest challenge of his short but impressive career.
Katua’s example now shines light on many others around our nation, those with talent who might not always have the opportunity or facilities available to them to best make use of the talent they have.