Mbenge cov­ets Olympic gold

Af­ter win­ning bronze in Glas­gow, Tu­lani Mbenge has set his sights on do­ing bet­ter at the Rio Olympics

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Am­a­teur wel­ter­weight boxer and Com­mon­wealth Games medal­list Tu­lani Mbenge says he will be fo­cus­ing on keep­ing him­self in prime con­di­tion ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The pugilist (23), from Mdantsane in Eastern Cape, won a bronze medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow last week.

In beat­ing English­man Scott Fitzgerald, Mbenge claimed the coun­try’s first medal in box­ing since Team SA’s dis­mal show­ing at the Delhi Com­mon­wealth Games in 2010.

Speak­ing from his home in East Lon­don, Mbenge said he was proud of his achieve­ment for both team and coun­try.

“I feel good to be the only guy in our box­ing team to have won a medal. I am look­ing for­ward to do­ing well next year in all tour­na­ments in the lead-up to Rio, where I must get gold for my team,” said Mbenge.

The fighter, who is study­ing for an IT diploma at Bos­ton City Cam­pus in East Lon­don, said there were many con­tenders for the gold in Scot­land.

“I’ve learnt a lot,” he quipped, adding he was not in a hurry to cam­paign in the paid ranks just yet.

“I’m en­joy­ing my­self in the am­a­teurs. I want to win all com­pe­ti­tions next year to prove that I will be ready for Rio,” he said.

SA Na­tional Am­a­teur Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion pres­i­dent Andile Mofu said the in­sti­tu­tion was proud of the boxer’s achieve­ment.

“As an or­gan­i­sa­tion, we are happy with the medal. We had tar­geted at least four medals from the Games, but we man­aged only one,” said Mofu. But Mofu was happy with the im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous haul. “Our show­ing was bet­ter than in Delhi, where we got noth­ing.” Mofu added he was op­ti­mistic that the box­ing team would do well in fu­ture events.

PHOTO: ROGER SEDRES / GALLO IM­AGES

BAM! Tu­lani Mbenge took the wel­ter­weight bronze at the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games

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