Tokyo 2020 for Mahommed

Tshepo Kehimile

Local pugilist Rajab Otukile Mahommed, 24, says he is excited to have qualified for the upcoming Olympics which will be held this July in Tokyo, Japan.

Due to current challenges of international travel and related restrictions, the World Boxing body decided to cancel the Olympic qualifiers events which were slated to take place in the coming months.

They introduced a newly restructured qualification pathway which means boxers will then qualify based on their rankings.

In an interview with Voice Sport this week, Mahommed said he cannot wait for the showdown after qualifying through ranking.

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“It was really frightening when it was announced that we are going to qualify through rankings, but I was confident because I had done well in my previous fights,” he said.

A member of Mafika Boxing Club, Mahommed told Voice Sport that he was inspired by another local boxer Menson Montwedi.

“He loved the sport so much, and his dedication also drew me to boxing. I trained really hard to be where I am today,” said Mahommed.

The hard-hitting youngster further told Voice Sport that qualifying for the upcoming Olympics is a massive achievement and a dream come true.

“I’ve long dreamt of competing at that stage and I believe I’m going to do well,” he said.

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He also ranks being voted Best Male Boxer of the year back in 2018, and being a Champion at the 2019 All Africa Games as some of his most treasured boxing moments.

For his part, Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) Publicity Secretary Taolo Tlouetsile said they are happy that Mohammed will now join female boxer, Keamogetse Kenosi, in Japan.

The lass from Francistown’s Monarch location long qualified for Japan following her dominance in Africa.

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“Rajab’s qualification means a lot to us, it means we have been doing something right as an association. I believe two boxers are not really enough, as things stand we do not know what is going to happen in terms of whether we will have more boxers qualifying on our side but we remain hopeful,” he said.

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