Olympic Dreams for Solomon Island Boxers
Eight Solomon Islands’ boxers will be vying for Olympic selection when the team hits the ring on Monday at the Pacific Games in Honiara.
The squad of 20 men and eight women will contest every division from light flyweight to super heavyweight at the SIFF Academy.
“I think we’ll go well at the Pacific Games. Everyone is well trained and confident to get a good result,” said team captain David Junior Samo.
“100 per cent they are ready. We’ll win some gold medals,” said head coach John San.
The squad has been training for at least two hours a day, six days a week since April 2022.
Some team members have also competed internationally.
23-year-old Pemberto Lele is one of eight men aiming for a golden performance to secure a ticket to the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“I’m ready and I’m confident,” he said.
“Putting them in for Olympic qualification is one of the biggest achievements for boxers here,” Mr San said.
Another achievement is the development of 8 women boxers. It’s the first-time women boxers will represent the Solomon Islands.
Super featherweight Tracy Kopudu, who’s been boxing for four years, said the training has been hard, but worth it.
The Pacific Games will be her first major competition.
“I’m hoping that that by seeing me, other girls will want to join this sport,” she said.
It’s the second Pacific Games for David Junior Samo and he’s been eyeing off the competition.
“The hardest will be the Samoans and the PNGs. They fight well. If somebody is facing them, that shall be a tough game,” he said.
Mr San said the boxing program will develop further at SINIS (Solomon Islands National Institute of Sport) once the games are over.
By Sally Eeles