Katua preparing for biggest fight of his life

Boxer Thadius Katua is getting himself prepared for the toughest assignments of his life as he brushes up his skills for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The 19-year-old Carteret Islander is currently in Baguio, Philippines training under the watchful eyes of coaches Joe Aufa and Allan Nicolson.

Katua’s ticket to Rio came through the tripartite qualification which are awarded to athletes who show promising potential in certain sports who miss out on qualification through mandated Olympic qualification events.

Nicolson said he was not surprised that Katua is Rio bound as he had shown great work ethics in the six weeks the Australian and Aufa were preparing the PNG boxing team for the Pacific Games last year.

After watching Katua in a sparring work-out against two Filipino boxers on Monday, just a couple of hours later following a 10-hour bus-ride from Manila, both coaches admit that while they do not have the luxury of time to prepare their young boxer – they will have to do the best they can under the circumstances.

“After the sparring session that Katua had against quality opponents gives us a better idea of what we need to work on to have him prepared for Rio,” said Aufa.

The training for Katua continues until July 24 when the team breaks camp to return to Port Moresby to join the rest of the Team PNG that is scheduled to fly out to Rio via Australia on July 27.

Katua won gold medal in the 60kg division at last year’s Pacific Games contributing to PNG winning 8 of the 13 gold medals that were on offer for boxing at the Games.

But his biggest achievement so far in his career is when he made history winning PNG’s first gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa last year.

Troy Taule