Namibia’s Jonas Junias is on the road to redemption and it began in Congo-Brazzaville on Sunday. Junias defeated Eslam Ahmed Aly Mohamed of Egypt at the 2017 Africa Confederation Boxing Championship (AFBC) to win a gold medal in the light welterweight division.
Jonas (pictured right) is joined by teammate Mathias Hamunyela, who beat Cameroon’s Fotsala Simplice to win the gold in the men’s lightweight class.
In doing so, the duo, who also represented Namibia at the 2016 Rio Olympics, secured their spots at the AIBA Men’s world championships, which runs from August 25 to September 2 in Hamburg, Germany, where the world’s top 280 elite amateur boxers will assemble.
The third Namibian at the African competition, lightweight boxer Matheus Kasolo, was eliminated in the preliminary rounds.
The win was particularly fulfilling for Jonas following his nightmare in Rio de Janeiro, where he failed to advance past the first round after being arrested on accusations of sexually assaulting a chambermaid.
He has been allowed to resume his career, pending the finalization of court proceedings in Brazil.
“It feels good, and I feel at ease now that I have fought,” Jonas told The Namibian Sport on Monday.
My aim was just to qualify [for the world championships] since I did not really prepare well for these games, but I’m happy with my performance,” he added.
A bronze medalist at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Jonas has his sights set on another podium finish in Hamburg.
“I have got more than enough time left to prepare and do my best at the world championships,” he said.
Likewise, Hamunyela, who reached the second round in Rio, lived up to his promise of qualifying for the worlds.
He scored points’ victories over Tony Heriniaina of Madagascar in the quarter-finals and Bakari Hassan of Kenya in the semi-finals en route to the gold medal bout,
Compatriot Junias defeated Richarno Colin of Mauritius in the preliminary phase. That was followed by a win over Shadiri Swogi from Uganda in the quarter-finals, before he eliminated Dzalamolu Dival Malonga of host nation Congo in the penultimate round.