Boxer frustrated by delay

Samoa’s leading amateur boxer, Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali, is frustrated with the postponement of the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament, but knows the change had to be made.

The tournament was scheduled to take place in Wuhan, China from February 3rd to 14th, but the coronavirus outbreak there meant it was shifted back a month, with a new venue to be determined.

Plodzicki-Faoagali said the delay is annoying because he was looking forward to the competition.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do as well, have Olympic trials and go to the Olympics,” the 20-year-old light heavyweight said.

“I trained the past 8 weeks for this tournament and was looking forward to it because it has been a gruelling training camp and I was about to hit my peak fitness.

“So I have to reset, stay focussed as well and just keep doing what I’m doing right now.”

But the Sydney-based Plodzicki-Faoagali said he’s glad they moved the dates.

“End of the day it's only a sport,” he said.

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“Feel for the people of Wuhan who have lost their lives which is the most important thing.

“It's disappointing from a boxers point of view but at the end of the day, safety first.”

While partially glad to have more time to get ready for the qualifier, Plodzicki-Faoagali said having to wait means a greater buildup of nerves.

And now the boxing starlet has to reorient his whole gruelling training schedule to cater for the extra month.

“Bring back a little bit more weights, because I had to stop all of it in case I put too much size on,” he said.

“And now our training camp goes longer as well so it was an eight week programme, now it’s a 12 week programme.

“It takes a toll on your body training every day as well.”

The extended camp means more time and money spent for Plodzicki-Faoagali and his team as well.

Generally, training has been hard over the last little while with the Polish-Samoan having a tough time finding sparring partners.

“Especially during the New Year’s and Christmas break…, most facilities were closed as well,” he said.

A venue is yet to be confirmed for the Asia-Oceania qualifier to be held from March 3rd to 14th, but Plodzicki-Faoagali has heard the Philippines is a likely option.

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