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Sports

Tañamor begins journey to history

- Lito Tacujan -
Athens (Via Globe Telecom) – Harry Tañamor has reached his destination and will now seek his destiny.

Tanñmor, one of those considered to create a stir in the talent-laden light flyweight class, has literally traveled the length and breadth of Asia seeking passage to Athens and finally made it through the Asian qualifier in Karachi, Pakistan.

Now he will start his Olympic campaign against Tajikistan’s Sherail Dostiev in one of the opening bouts in the night session at the Peristeri boxing hall. The two will clash at around 8 p.m. (2 a.m. in Manila).

The 26-year-old Tañamor, bronze medalist in the 2001 and 2003 World Championships in Belfast and Bangkok, respectively, is the fourth and last Filipino fighter to go up the ring after middleweight Chris Camat, light welterweight Romeo Brin and flyweight Violito Payla.

Camat has since dropped out of the competition with a first round setback, the comebacking Brin made an impressive start by outclassing Sweden’s Patrick Bogere Sunday while Payla was to see action against Uzbekistan’s Tulashboy Doniyorov Tuesday night.

Tañamor failed to advance to the Olympic proper when he lost in the Asian qualifiers in Puerto Princesa back home and in Guangzhou, China but made the grade in the final eliminations in Karachi.

"Handang handa na tayo. Alam naming malalakas ang mga kalaban dito
but we are ready physically and mentally," said former Manila mayor Mel Lopez, the spokesman and team leader of the RP fighters.

The youth from Zamboanga City, who took a silver in the Usti Nad Labem slugfest in Czech Republic before plunging into serious training in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Bugeat, France, seems to have the edge over his Tajikistan rival.

Dostiev lost in the first round to Karim Nouman in the Palawan elims although it was a close 33-30 decision.

Still, Tañamor would be coming in with better credentials and experience. In fact, he was included in the Sports Illustrated’s top picks in the light flyweight along with Russia’s Sergei Kazakov, Cuba’s Yan Bartelemy and China’s Zou Shiming.

If Tañamor hurdles Dostiev and the winner of the match between Korea’s Hong Moo Woo and Madagascar’s Rabernarivo Lailana, he would go up against the Cuban ace if Bhartlemy wins his first two bouts, the second probably against Thailand’s talented Suban Paannon.

Kazakov and Bartelemy are two of the best prospects to reach the medal. Kazakov won the 2003 World and three European championships although he lost in the first round in Sydney.

BELFAST AND BANGKOK

BULGARIA AND BUGEAT

CHRIS CAMAT

CZECH REPUBLIC

DOSTIEV

HARRY TA

HONG MOO WOO AND MADAGASCAR

IF TA

KARACHI

KARIM NOUMAN

KAZAKOV AND BARTELEMY

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