First for female boxer

Normal, Sports

The National, Thursday, May 19, 2011

PNG Amateur Boxing Union representative  to the Arafura Games Angela Ine’e achieved a milestone for the country’s female pugilists by becoming the first woman to win a gold medal at the event.
Since PNG female boxers began fighting at the bi-annual event in 2007, no one has managed to win gold, that was until last Thursday when the Kairuku lass shocked favourite Emma Payne of Queensland to win by a comfortable margin in the  bantamweight (54kg) final in Darwin.
Ine’e, 22, had earned her call-up to national duties after topping her division at the PNGABU national selection trials last month in Port Moresby. 
PNG team manager and chief second Ricky Berua said he was ecstatic with the results from PNGABU’s team which had two boxers – Ine’e and Charles Keama.
“Our two fighters performed above expectations with both winning medals in conditions they were not used to,” Berua said.
He said PNGABU could only afford to send a small team but the outcome proved they had selected two future prospects.
Ine’e is now a shoe-in to represent PNG at the Oceania Olympic qualifiers next March also in Darwin.
“Unfortunately, wo­men’s boxing is not included at the Pacific Games so Angela won’t have the opportunity to represent the country in Noumea but she is looking good for the Oceania Olympic qualifiers next year.”
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Keama, who fought in the flyweight (49kg) division, won a bronze medal which Berua said was an excellent result considering it was the youngster’s first international tournament.
He said the experience would not have been possible if not for the assistance of construction company Seven Builders, who sponsored the six-member team with more than K35,000.
“I want to thank Seven Builders for coming to our rescue at the 11th hour last month.
“We initially struggled to raise funds for the trip but we are extremely grateful for the support from the company,” he said.
The Port Moresby-based company also indicated it would continue to support PNGABU boxers to major international events.