Abdelhafid Benchabla, the World Series of Boxing Individual Champion 2011, was selected by the Algerian Olympic Committee to lead out his nation's delegation at the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on July 27. He is the first ever boxer from Algeria to have that honour bestowed upon him.
"This appointment encourages me to pay tribute to my country by boxing all the way to a podium finish at the Olympic Games. It is important to note that these Games also coincide with a historic moment for our country, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of independence. Having the opportunity of carrying the flag and representing all the Algerian athletes in London is a true honour, be assured that I will be a worthy defender of these colours which will adorn London's skies during the Games", announced Benchabla in a statement.
Azzedine Aggoune, the Algerian national team Head Coach added, "It is clear that Benchabla's appointment as the flag-bearer of the Algerian delegation at the Olympic Games is a historic moment for Algerian boxer. It is a great honour. The members of the Algerian Olympic Committee who made this decision wanted to show their appreciation and gratitude to boxing. 2011 was a great year for our sport, let us remember that Benchabla won the All Africa Games, the WSB Individual Championships and became the first African and Arab boxer to secure the Olympic quota. Benchabla's achievement and success was then followed by our other talented boxers as Algeria bagged six further places at the AIBA African Olympic Qualifying Event in Casablanca".
Benchabla was born in 1986 and will be celebrating his 26th birthday right after the Olympic Games. His first great success was the gold medal during the Algerian Junior National Championships in 2004 and following that he was integrated into the national elite team one year before the Beijing Olympic Games where he made an amazing performance and advanced to the quarter-final stages, just missing out on a medal.
Technically he has developed extremely well in this Olympic era and now boasts an impressive record in international contests. There is a lot of anticipation around his involvement in London with many pundits confident that he will be a real medal contender this year. The lightening-quick Benchabla is already a huge hit in his native Algeria and this assured boxer will surely make his mark in the ring at the ExCeL London during this summer's Olympic Games. Watch this space.
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