Shadir Musa Bwogi’s road to the Olympics started more than two years ago.
In 2018, Next Media’s sports hub Sanyuka Television caught up with the Welterweight fighter at the City
gym at the Kampala Boulevard, training heavily with one thing on his mind: qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
After successfully making it through the nationals to book a place in the African qualifiers in
Senegal, the former rapper and dancer ceased the opportunity.
Of the 13 who represented Uganda at the championships in West Africa, Musa and four others, Isaac Masembe,(Featherweight 52-57kg), David Semujju, (middleweight 69-75kg), Emily Tina Nakalema, (Women’s Welterweight 64-69kg) and Catherine Nanziri (Women’s Fly weight 48-51kg) made the semi final, but they all lost.
Uganda’s hope in Dakar was then left in the box offs.
Each of the above fighters had to face another losing semi finalist with the winners joining the two finalists in their weight division in Tokyo.
As if it was scripted somewhere unknown, Uganda’s best was saved for last.
After losses for punching machine and tournament’s top seed David Ssemujju, Isaac Masembe and Catherine
Nanziri, the entire nation’s hope lied in the fists of the captain Shadir Musa Bwogi and he never disappointed.
In a quite unusual manner, the entire Ugandan sports fraternity came together in spirit and on social media, to rally behind the national welterweight champion against the 27-year-old Ghanaian destroyer Jessie Lartey.
Both south poles started aggressively but the Ghanaian who was attacking from the red corner looked fresher in the first round as the five judges scored narrowly in his favour.
The second round was another close encounter, but Bwogi looked slightly better, attacking his more experienced opponents in flurries as he bobbed and weaved with his signature footwork. In his favour, the judges scored.
The final and decisive third round presented a clear shift in power.
With everything to lose, Bwogi fought with both his body and soul, beating the clearly subdued and knackered
Ghanaian who could hardly raise his arms in response.
Uganda, had booked her first boxing Olympic ticket since 2008 when Ronald Serugo qualified for the China Olympics.
For those who could not make it, there is one more chance, the global qualifier slated for May in France.
The 2020 Olympics will start on the 24th of July to the 9th of August 2020.
AFRICA 2020 OLYMPICS BOXING QUALIFICATIONS BY COUNTRY