As part of the AIBA Road to London initiative, this two-stage project will begin this month in Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain as the world gears up for the 30th Olympiad, the London 2012 Olympic Games.
One of the most defining initiatives launched by AIBA in recent years has been this Road to London project, which as part of AIBA's development work, offers athletes and coaches from underprivileged and developing countries the opportunity not only to participate in major AIBA events but also to attend intensive training camps in the build-up. Since 2009, AIBA offers prior to each of its World Championships, airline tickets, accommodation, local transportation, meals, training bases and equipment as well as instructors for both boxers and coaches. This next step in this project now focuses on preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Within this context, AIBA oversees and fully funds all aspects of this initiative. The overall aim is for boxers and coaches alike to not only develop their skills but also their knowledge of boxing.
48 men and 17 women boxers will take part in the first stage of the Road to London program with the opportunity of training just like the world's leading nations do. Below we focus on the women athletes we will see at this camp.
Sri Lanka's AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist veteran, Anusha Kodituwakku, will be turning 34 later this year, has experience to secure an Olympic quota for the XXX Olympiad. The Sri Lankan Boxing Association's main target is to send at least one athlete to the Olympic Games, making her participation a very important one for the South Asian country.
The youngest participant at the training camp will be Vietnam's bright future hope, current AIBA Junior World Woman Boxing Champion, Vuong Thi Vy, who will be celebrating her 17th birthday this year. She claimed the first ever Vietnamese gold medal in a worldwide event and will be debuting amongst the elite athletes at the camp in Wales.
Slovenia's AIBA Women World Boxing Championships competitor, Mateja Rajteric, achieved a career highlight in 2012. She won the gold medal at the Sombor International Women Tournament in Serbia in January and will be looking to make a big impact after Cardiff.
New Zealand's skilled Alexis Pritchard has been part of her national squad since 2004. The Kiwi boxer won the Oceania Championships in 2007 and competed in two AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships during her career.
Costa Rica's Pan-American Championships bronze medallist and Central American Champion, 19-year-old Pamela Sanchez, has also been invited to the training sessions. The top Costa Rican women fighter was unlucky during the last edition of the Pan-American Games as she failed at the quarter-final stages in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Kyrgyzstan's Asian Games quarter-finalist, 23-year-old Kseniya Filisteyeva is a strong Lightweight competitor and with the London 2012 Olympic Games well in her sights, she will be working extra hard in Cardiff.
Afghanistan's only participant in the training camp will be Dushanbe International Tournament silver medallist, 18-year-old Sadaf Rahimi, who has been training in Kabul since 2007.
El Salvador's Central American Champion, 20-year-old Yajaira Pena, took part in the AIBA Road to Barbados Program and, through that, she received a great opportunity to increase her knowledge and experience and will be looking for more this month.
Guatemala's best woman hope is 17-year-old Karen Perez, who made her international debut at the inaugural AIBA Women's Junior World Championships, where she almost reached the semi-final but sadly lost her quarter-final against a young Polish boxer after a very close battle.
Rwanda's Pascaline Mugabekazi competed at the historical AIBA Women's Youth World Boxing Championships in Antalya last year and she now just need to increase her international experience. Boxers from the Ivory Coast will be debuting at the AIBA training camp.
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