The 29-year-old L/Cpl in the Sri Lanka Armoured Corps is bubbling with confidence after winning a bronze medal at the World Military Boxing Championship in Russia last month. He defeated a tough southpaw from Mozambique in the quarter-finals before losing narrowly on points to a fighter from Brazil in the semi-finals.
“I have been training hard and will do my best to go for a medal at the World Championship and bring glory to Sri Lanka,” said Sajeewa, who hails from Kekirawa, Anuradhapura. “I have worked on technique, changing my style and tactics which worked.”
A record number of 650 boxers from 105 countries have registered to take part in the XXI AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships to be held from October 24 to November 6.
BASL secretary Abdullah Ibunu will accompany Sajeewa as manager cum assistant coach to Serbia. “The aim of BASL president and the executive committee is to give as much international exposure as possible to our elite boxers because our target is to win medals at the Commonwealth and Asian Games,” said Ibunu, a former Sri Lanka youth international medallist who enjoyed success as Royal College boxing coach.
“We are also planning to provide overseas training for the national squad in Europe and top Asian countries in future,” said Ibunu who represented Sri Lanka in 13th World Junior Boxing Championships in 2004.
Sri Lanka’s head coach for the world championship Sampath Jayathilake said Sajeewa Nuwan has emerged as the country’s best medal prospect for next year’s Commonwealth Games. “Our ultimate objective is to see him qualify for the 2024 Olympics,” said the 47-year-old Army coach since 2013.
“I am confident he will give a good show at the World Championships. Earlier, we used to go with the intention of only participating. Now we are competing with the aim of fighting for medals,” said the five-time former national champion who has been coach of the Sri Lanka team for two Asian Championships, two South Asian Games and three World Military boxing competitions.