Konyegwachie Backs Ajagba For Medal

Filed in Sports by on August 12, 2016

National boxing coach Anthony Konyegwachie has vowed to work out a medal for Team Nigeria from the country’s sole entrant to the sport, Efe Ajagba.

Joe Lasisi was one of those who questioned the ability of Nigeria to win any medal when he spoke with The PUNCH in the run-up to the Games.

Boxing will start in Rio on Saturday inside the Riocentro Pavilion 6 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Nigel Paul will provide the first test for Ajagba and his optimistic coach.

Konyekwachie said at the Games Village, “All I know is that Efe Ajagba is as good as a medal here in the Olympics. People have been wondering why we are fielding only one boxer.

“The truth is that he got here by dint of hard work and discipline. Those are the core ingredients in boxing. I know the boxer I have and I am confident of what he can do.”

He added, “Ajagba is so dedicated to boxing. He packs devastating punches and his right and left combinations are amazing together with his foot movement on the canvas. He has the height.”

Ajagba represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and won bronze. At the 2015 All Africa Games, he moved up to gold. He’s currently rated fifth behind the boxers who will square up against him in Rio.

But his fifth placing on the ladder would not discourage his ambitious coach.

The coach said, “He has improved from what he used to be. He’s good and focused.”

And like the Nigerian wrestlers battled to get training partners in Rio, Ajagba does not have the full complement of the technical crew that could help him achieve his desire. Konyekwachie does not have official assistants at the Games. He seems to have found a way around the problem.

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