PNG boxer Thadius Katua is currently in the Philippines brushing up on his skills before the Rio Olympic Games get underway next month.
He is under the watchful eye of coaches Joe Aufa and Allan Nicolson. Katua was granted passage to the Olympic Games through a three-way qualification process.
Three-way qualifications are awarded to athletes who show promising potential in a certain sports but miss out on qualifying through mandated Olympic qualification events. Katua was announced as the successful nominee for the three-way spot a few weeks ago and he says it’s an opportunity he wants to make the most of.
Katua’s Olympic journey started in April this year with fellow Pacific Games teammates, Jonathan Keama, Charles Keama and Andrew Aisaga. His dreams of making it to Rio seemed over after losing to his Iraqi opponent in the Oceania Asian Qualifiers in China earlier this year.
Coach Allan Nicolson says he’s not surprised that Katua has made it to Rio having had a successful year in 2015, winning gold during the Pacific Games and at the Youth Commonwealth Games.
Katua will train in the Philippines until July 24, before they return to Port Moresby to join the rest of team PNG who are scheduled to leave for Rio on July 27.