By Elijah Lavett – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
A select group of Papua New Guinea’s best male boxers returned to Baguio City in the Philippines earlier this month for training and preparations leading up to the Asian Oceania Olympic Qualifiers in Beijing, China. The Asian Oceania Olympic Qualifiers will start on March 25.
Charles Keama, Thadius Katua and Jonathan Keama took out gold in their respective divisions, while Andrew Asiga settled for silver during the Pacific Games.
After the Pacific Games the boxers attended the National Boxing Championships in Kavieng, where Member for Kavieng Open, Ben Micah, said the government would support elite boxers in their next quest, which was to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.
The boxers arrived in Baguio City, Philippines and have been undergoing intensive training since their arrival at the Baguio Teachers Camp. A few days into training, Jonathan was struck with flu, which resulted in him having to miss some of the training.
His sheer determination saw him come back after a day’s absence, and straight into sparring. The boxers have sparring sessions with Australian and Malaysian boxers who are also training there.
The team had a rest day on Sunday and resumed week two of their high performance training yesterday.
They will be flying to Beijing on March 22.
The Asian Oceania Olympic Qualifier includes all Oceania and Asian countries that have yet to qualify boxers for Rio, Brazil in August.