By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
EXCITING 20-year-old welterweight boxing sensation, Mbachi Kaonga has been named in Zambia’s 13-member provisional team for this July’s Commonwealth Games set for Glasgow in Scotland.
Kaonga, who was the highlight as the Zambian team minted six medals from boxing at the 2012 Zone Six Youth Games in Lusaka, has been joined in the senior squad by three other members from that group.
The Red Arrows pugilist, won one of two gold medals Zambia got from the games and sent his opponent in the final to the hospital on a stretcher.
Kaonga replicated his explosive display against his opponent at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference tournament in Livingstone eight months later.
Fellow gold medalist Charles Lumbwe, who was captain at Zone Six Games and has just finished serving his suspension at Green Buffaloes boxing club, has also been included in the squad.
Also making the team are two silver medalists from the same Zone Six games in the form of Caristo Bwalya and Lawrence Mukuka from Ndola City Council and Mazabuka Boxing Clubs respectively.
Gilbert Choombe,who went to the Olympics in 2012 as well as the World Championships Series, and the impressive duo of Benny Muziyo and Chilufya Chikwanda are part of the team.
The full team submitted to the National Olympic Committee (NOC) has Kaonga (Arrows), Christopher Katanga (Zambia National Service), Abraham Ng’andu (Mazabuka), Charles Lumbwe (Buffaloes), Gilbert Choombe (Maamba), Muziyo (Buffaloes) and Lumbwe Bwalya (Mufulira.
Peter Ngoma (Nkwazi), Caristo Bwalya (Ndola City Council), Chilufya Chikwanda (Nkwazi), Lawrence Mukuta (Mazabuka), Joseph Chimfwembe (Ndola City Council) and Douglas Banda (Nkwazi) are the rest of the boxers.
Zambia Amateur Boxing Federation (ZABF) president, Thomas Chileshe, who released the names yesterday expressed excitement with the quality of boxers on the provisional list.
Chileshe said it was a good blend of proven and highly talented boxers who should be ready for the July ‘Club’ Games.
“We have come up with provisional team of 13 boxers whom we hope will be fine-tuned for the games. It’s been long since we last won a medal at such games and we have a lot of faith in this group.
“The coach will be Kennedy Kanyanta and assisted by Dennis Zimba and all know how these two have performed at amateur level and we are quite expectant from them. We will have Kennedy Mubita as the Team Manager,” he said.