Pan Am-bound boxers could head to Cuba for three-week training camp

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In an effort to provide the ideal preparatory phase for its pugilists at the impending Pan American Games, the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) is exploring the possibility of staging a three-week training camp in global powerhouse Cuba.

GBA President Steve Ninvalle said, “The GBA’s objective is to qualify for the Olympics, and we have endeavoured ourselves to provide the ideal setting and environment for the preparatory period to give our fighters the best chance of achieving such an intention. This is our goal, and as such, a plan is presently being formulated to ascertain how feasible and possible it is to conduct such a training camp in Cuba.”

He further said, “From a practical perspective, qualifying at this juncture will remove the need to prepare simply for another qualifier, which will occur in 2024, and it will also provide the opportunity to prepare solely for the Olympics. Once again, this highlights the sober intent of the GBA to develop the sport through international competitions and training camps, the latter of which is also a form of international exposure.”

If the proposal is realised, the team, which will be supervised by resident Cuban trainer Francisco Roldan, is scheduled to depart the shores next week.

The Pan Am Games, which will be staged in Santiago, Chile, from October 20 to November 5, serve as a qualifier for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

Boxing is slated to be staged from October 21–27 at the La Reina Community Sports Centre, with the two respective divisional finalists securing automatic berths.

The GBA five-member fight squad, which is one of the largest in recent participation in the competition, comprises Desmond Amsterdam (79kg), Keevin Allicock (57kg), Emmanuel Pompey (92kg), Joel Williamson (63.5kg) and Alesha Jackman (66kg).

The Technical Director of the GBA, Terrence Poole, will oversee the technical staff, which also comprises Cuban coach Roldan.

Guyana’s previous participation in this prestigious event occurred at the 2019 edition. Allicock was boxing’s solitary representative in Lima, Peru.

Clive Atwell secured Guyana’s last medal in the discipline of boxing at the 2007 edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He won bronze in the 54kg segment.

Prior to the aforementioned, Guyana won two bronze medals in the 1991 Games in Havana, Cuba, via Poole (81kg) and Stephan Rose (51kg).

Overall, Guyana has won one silver and seven bronze medals in the history of the event, which started in 1951. This is second only to Jamaica in the English-speaking Caribbean, which has captured a total of 11 accolades.

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