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Catherine Nanziri: Uganda First Female Boxer to Qualify for Olympic games.

Written by on March 29, 2021

Catherine Nanziri is the first Ugandan female boxer to qualify for the Olympic Games following the decision to allow women to participate in the games in 2012. The flyweight boxer joined the sport in 2015.

Nanziri was born on September 13th, 1999 to Vincent Lukyamuzi and Dorothy Nakitende in Lweza in Kampala. She is the second born in a family of five children. According to Nanziri, boxers who used to train near Aggrey memorial school in Bunamwaya inspired her to join the sport in 2015. She, however, dropped out a few months after to concentrate on her Uganda Certificate of Education-UCE exams.

Nanziri says that after her exams, she started working and couldn’t get time for training. She only bounced back in the sport in 2018 after attending a certain competition where she saw her fellow girls excelling.

She says after spending two months in training, she heard of the intermediates competitions in Katwe where she participated and won a silver medal in the bantamweight category. Nanzira says that she kept on training and participated in the 2019 opens and won a second silver medal.

Nanziri says she started her road to the Olympics with domestic qualifiers aimed at selecting a team that would travel for the Olympic qualifiers in Dakar Senegal in 2020.

Reaching to the qualifiers in Senegal, Nanziri says she was nervous in her first fight but determination helped her win her first game. She proceeded up to Semifinals where she lost to an Algerian fighter.

Her only chance was in the box off, where she lost to Kenya’s Christine Ongare reducing her chances further.

The World Olympics qualifiers in Paris were her only hope but they were also scrapped by the International Olympics Committee.  The qualifier was replaced with the arrangement of the International Olympics Committee, IOC Boxing Task Force of qualifying Fifty-three quota places basing on rankings instead, with the best-ranked boxer per region, per weight category.

According to the latest rankings, Nanziri ranks 12th in the world among the female flyweights and fourth on the continent with 200 points. She, therefore, qualified as she came number four in Africa after Rabab Cheddar of Morocco, Roumaysa Boulam of Algeria and Christine Ongare of Kenya who beat her in the box off. Nanziri says that her qualification is a great opportunity in her career.

She has applauded several of her coaches at the former Aggrey boxing club currently known as A and B boxing club including Muhammad Sekanjako, Henry Majwega and manager, Acram Yiga.

Nanziri is among the four Ugandans pugilists who lost in the semifinals of the African Olympic Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal in February 2020. She will join Bombers captain Shadir Musa Bwogi for the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

Bwogi qualified after beating Ghana’s Jessie Lartey in the welterweight African Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal. David Semujju also qualified basing on the IOC rankings.

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