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Boxing hope


Mike King

Boxing hope

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BARBADOS Olympic Association (BOA) secretary general Erskine Simmons says he hopes that boxing, the only sport to win medals for this country at recent Commonwealth Games, is represented at this year’s event in Scotland.
Simmons told a media briefing yesterday morning at BOA headquarters in Wildey that it would be nice to have boxing at the Glasgow meet to be held from July 23 to August 4.
“We have entries from boxing but one of the issues relating to them is that we don’t get enough top competition here and in the region and that is because we either box among ourselves and the level of competition is not in keeping with the standards that we expect. However, we are hoping that boxing will have a team and make its presence felt.
“One of the challenges for boxers is the luck of the draw. You can get a bye or you can fight a boxer in the first round with dozens of fights under his belt,” he said.
Boxing secured Barbados’ only medal at both the 2002 Games in Manchester, England, and the 2006 Games in Melbourne, Australia. Junior Greenidge won bronze in 2002 and Anderson Emmanuel another bronze in 2006.
Barbados has been competing at the Commonwealth Games since the 1954 event in Vancouver, Canada, and have captured just two golds to date. Weightlifter Blair Blenman triumphed in the middleweight division at the 1958 Games in Cardiff, Wales, and Andrea Blackett reigned supreme in the women’s 400 metres hurdles at the 1998 event.
Simmons said that entries for Scotland have been made for table tennis, track and field, badminton, cycling, triathlon and shooting.
“We have qualifiers in those events but there are one or two things we have to fine-tune before we make the final announcement. We are just waiting for the qualifications to be completed before we actually indicate who has qualified.
“By the end of May we will have a clear picture of what our team will look like but we are quite confident based on the fact that we have two team sports, the contingent should be about 70,” he said.
The secretary general said he was delighted that for the first time Barbados will have a rugby side at the Commonwealth Games.
“We are always happy when we have new sports added to a programme. It adds to the diversity and the games being given a new look. The team is in a very difficult zone, grouped with teams like Scotland and New Zealand but we are happy to have them at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
With multiple Central American and Caribbean (CAC)?gold medallist Nicky Neckles having retired and fellow Olympian Bradley Ally inactive, Lani Cabrera, who holds national records for the 200, 400, 800 and 1 500 metres freestyle, is almost certain to lead the local splash in the pool in Scotland.
“Cabrera is the one emerging in swimming and we hope that she will do well at the Games,” Simmons said.

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