Hastings Bwalya’s passport dilemma ahead of Beijing Olympics

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Hastings Bwalya, Zambia’s gold medal hopeful at next month’s Beijing Olympics is still without a passport almost a month after passing through the country to renew it.

To rub salt to injury, the International Association of Amateur Boxing (AIBA) camp in Tunisia where Bwalya is supposed to return to will be releasing all boxers in a fortnight’s time in readiness for the summer Olympics in the highly populated Chinese capital, Zambia media reports today.

According to reports , NOC general secretary, Hezel Kennedy On Tuesday said that Bwalya was still in the country and her committee was making frantic efforts to ensure that the Green Buffaloes boxer got a visa.

She said that the public holiday’s last week and the delay in acquiring a passport, which he had lost had delayed the processing of the visa and that yesterday’s French National Day further added to the prolonged stay.

“The French Embassy is closed today (yesterday) because it’s a French public holiday so hopefully everything would be sorted out tomorrow and he should be leaving Wednesday, I am making those bookings right now,” she said.

Asked if it was not getting late to take Bwalya back to Tunisia, Kennedy said the boxer just had to go because it was beneficial in Tunisia than being in Zambia and even 10 days would work a great deal for the boxer.

The IABA Centre is set to release all boxers on July 26. The other Zambian at the centre is featherweight boxer Cassius Chiyanika.

Zambia to date only has two medals from the Olympics, a silver won by 400 metre hurdles specialist Samuel Matete and a bronze by boxers Keith ‘Spinks’ Mwila.

Beijing Olympics 2008  The 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China takes place between August 8 and 24. This dossier focuses on the hopes, aspirations, and achievements of athletes from the African continent.
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