Two from SA to box in London - by Ron Jackson
Two boxers from East London have qualified to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games in London.
Bantamweight Ayabonga Sonjica and welterweight Siphiwe Luzizi secured their places by reaching the semifinals of the Africa Olympic qualifying event in Casablanca.
The 21-year-old Sonjica has won the bantamweight title at the SA championships for the past two years.
At the 2011 world championship he was eliminated in the preliminary round of the 56kg division. Worapoj Petchkoom from Thailand beat him 16-7.
Luzizi won the 69 kg titles at the national championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
At the 2009 world championships in Milan he lost 9-17 to Botirjon Mahmudov from Uzbekistan.
Born on May 8, 1989, Luzizi has represented South African at several competitions. He lost in the final of the Africa Zone 6 championships in 2010.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi he lost by third-round technical knockout in the preliminary round.
He took third place at the Africa Zone 4 championships last year, came seventh at the Africa championships and won a bronze medal at 2011 All-Africa Games. South Africans have won six gold, four silver and nine bronze medals at Olympic Games tournaments since 1920.
A total of 250 boxers will compete in 11 divisions for Olympic Games medals at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London. The weight limits are 48, 51, 54, 57, 60, 64, 69, 75, 81 and 91 kg and above 91 kg.
Boxing for women will be part of the Olympic Games for the first time. A total of 36 female boxers will compete in three classes: flyweight, lightweight and middleweight.