A big character amongst the participants in the Road to London camp currently being held at the University of Cardiff, in the heart of the Welsh capital, Lomalito 'Lomu' Moala, a proud native of the fifty-two islands archipelago of Tonga in the South Pacific, was keen to share his views and thoughts on the first days of this three-week training program.
"It is such a great experience to be part of this journey with boxers from so many different countries", declared Moala. "We have men and women from all four corners of the globe, the likes of Ghana, Slovenia, Bahamas as well Guatemala and many more are all here together".
Lomu, as he is known to his friends, represented his home nation at the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, his first match was against Ukrainian powerhouse and Olympic gold medallist Vasyl Lomachenko, who then went on to take the title. Even though the competition was short-lived for Moala, he was richer for the experience, having understood the levels at which the best in the business currently find themselves.
Lomalito hopes now that under the guidance of Road to London Head Coach and Welsh legend Colin Jones, an Olympian himself back in 1976, he will now realise his potential and be in prime condition for the upcoming AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event next month in Canberra. "We train 3 times a day, in the morning, before lunch and in the afternoon. After a just a few days your body is in real pain, but there is such a great vibe within the group that we never let the intensity drop. The training is hard but everyone recognises just how beneficial this will be". The ultimate goal is to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Under the watchful eye of Colin Jones, the athletes are never afforded a moment's rest during the sessions. "All the boxers are keen to impress the Head Coach", stressed Moala, "because if they do not then he is straight on your back, for instance if I am not running fast enough he will be yelling 'Tonga run harder' at me".
"Another factor that has been difficult for many of us is acclimatising to the weather conditions, most of the fighters originate from warm countries so being in Wales is like a shock to the system, like being hit by a freezing blizzard", said the Tongan.
"Colin is the boss here and he has got the absolute respect of everyone single participant, he has inspired all of us to better ourselves, and the experience that we will have gained will be invaluable", concluded Moala, a 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.
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