Countdown to the African Games in Accra; Top Mauritius Boxers skip Accra Games Showdown

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Mauritius’ celebrated boxers, Richarno Colin and Merven Clair, have skipped next month’s African Games in Accra, Ghana.

The president of Mauritius Boxing Federation (MBF) Pascal Telvar told AFBC Communications they have decided to enter the two experienced boxers for the world Olympic qualifiers in Italy from the end of this month with youngsters, flyweight Fabrice Valerie and featherweight Niven Chemben, both 21 years, to represent Mauritius in the African Games.

“We’re preparing young boxers for the future, we will add more if we get sponsors before the entry deadline,” said Telvar.

Chemben made his international debut in 2018 and Valerie in 2019.
They are among the gold medalists who enabled Mauritius win the overall Indian Ocean Games boxing crown last year in Madagascar with nine gold, two silver and two bronze medals. At the 2023 Africa Championships in Yaounde, Chemben and Valerie did not make it to the medals bracket. This is their first participation in the African Games.

The coach for the two Accra-bound boxers is former international Josian Lebon who together with Richard Sunee were the first Mauritius medalists in the African Games in 1995 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Sunee won flyweight gold and Lebon bagged a bronze medal in the featherweight division.

So far Mauritius has won a total of 13 medals in the African Games, six gold, three silver and four bronze. The first time Mauritius took part in the African Games was in 1987 in Nairobi.

Mauritius’ best ever performance in the African Games was in 2011 in Maputo where they placed second behind overall winners Algeria with three gold medals from bantamweight Bruno Julie, light-welterweight Richarno Colin and middleweight Kennedy St-Pierre with one bronze won by lightweight Richard Colin.

On whether Merven Clair and Richarno Colin will take part in the Mandela Boxing Cup tournament scheduled for Durban, South Africa in April, the Mauritius federation boss Telvar confirmed they will be in South Africa.

At the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Clair won welterweight gold and Colin a silver in the light-welterweight division. Mauritius finished sixth overall.

Colin, the Commonwealth Games champion and gold medalist in the 2022 Africa Championships in Maputo, is aiming to equal the record of four Olympic appearances achieved by Algeria’s renowned light-heavyweight and three-time African Games champion, Abdelhafid Benchaba, and twice gold medalist in the African Games, middleweight Mohamed Hikal of Egypt. They are the only boxers in Africa who have so far participated in the Olympic Games four times.

Colin’s previous appearance in the Olympic Games was in 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2020 Tokyo.

Source: GBF Communications

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