Huni packing a punch for Tokyo

National heavyweight champion Justis Huni headlines Australia’s six-strong Tokyo Olympics boxing team that also includes Skye Nicolson, whose late brother fought at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Huni (men’s super-heavyweight) and Nicolson (women’s featherweight) are joined in the team by Paolo Aokuso (men’s light-heavyweight), Harry Garside (men’s lightweight), Alex Winwood (men’s flyweight) and Caitlin Parker (women’s middleweight).

Nicolson, 25, is the younger sister of Jamie Nicolson, who fought for Australia at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Jamie and younger brother Gavin were killed in a car accident on their way to boxing training at the Gold Coast in 1994, a year before Skye was born.

“I feel very proud and like I’ve made my family really proud,” Skye said.

“It’s so special I can have this connection to Jamie following in the same footsteps and for sport to have that power to build such an ongoing connection between us.

“I’m more focused than ever on getting to Tokyo and winning Australia’s first ever Olympic gold medal in boxing.

“That’s the ultimate goal. It’s all the one percenters, getting to bed, avoiding distractions, doing everything I can, every minute of every day, so I can bring the best version of me to the ring in Tokyo.”

Skye Nicolson is going to the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Queensland pair Nicolson and Huni both won world championship bronze medals in 2019.

Huni turned professional last year and won the Australian heavyweight crown in his first pro bout by beating Faiga Opelu in Brisbane. Huni’s next opponent could be former NRL star Paul Gallen.

Australia’s chef de mission Ian Chesterman welcomed Nicolson, Huni, Aokuso, Garside, Winwood and Parker – all Olympics debutants – to the team.

“More than a year after winning their way through the qualifying tournament in Jordan, this is a special day to be officially selected to their debut Olympics,” Chesterman said.

“They have shown incredible fortitude and commitment to stay ready and keep working to be at their best for Tokyo.

“Their selection is a fantastic recognition and reward for the many years of work they have put in, in gyms, in the ring and competing internationally, to reach this milestone.”

West Australian Winwood, 23, is the first Australia’s Indigenous athlete selected for Tokyo in an overall team that currently numbers 102.

“Being able to represent my country and my heritage is exactly who I am. I want to bring everyone together, my country and my people at the same time,” Winwood said.

“With everything that happened since I qualified, it’s just such a relief that I’m at this point now, getting ready for the Games and finally being announced to the team.”

Source: Read Full Article