Boxing powerhouse Cuba made it clear that they are the top nation in the sport in the Americas, and are still a potent force in world amateur boxing, when they won 10 medals in the recently concluded Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. They were in the finals of all the men’s boxing divisions, and ended up with six gold and four silver medals. They did not enter any female boxers.Host nation Canada also performed brilliantly and took home three gold and three bronze medals. The United States won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals to take third spot in the medal placing. Canada’s female boxers won two of the three gold medals that women competed for, while the highly favoured US team, won the other female gold medal.This performance by Cuba, made them the most successful nation in boxing since the Pan American Games started in 1951. To date, they have won 90 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze medals, for a total of 126. The US are second with 33 gold 32 silver and 41 bronze for a total of 106, while Argentina are third with 21 gold, 15 silver and 27 bronze for a total of 63.It was recognised from the start of the competition that Cuba was the team to beat, and from day one they started to mow down the opposition. In the finals, however, competition was very keen in the lower weight classes, and four of their highly rated boxers had to be satisfied with silver.They prevailed in the heavier weight classes and although well known heavyweight Erislandy SavÛn for example, had to work hard for his victory, he took the gold medal with a 2-1 verdict over Venezuela’ s Julio Deivi. It was another Cuba versus Venezuela clash in the super heavyweight division, and Cuba again prevailed as Lenier Pero defeated Edgar Munoz on points 2-1.Outstanding performancesFemale boxers again showed that they have a place in boxing in international games, by giving some outstanding performances. They are only allowed three weight classes, but their performances were excellent throughout, and strengthened the call by AIBA president C.K. Wu, for more places for women in boxing in the various games.All three female bouts drew rave reviews for their competitiveness, and Canada took two of the three gold medals. Cheered wildly by the home crowd, flyweight Mandy Bujold gave herself a birthday present, by defeating highly favoured American Marlen Esparza on points, while lightweight Caroline Veyre defeated Argentina’s Dayan Sanchez, also on points.In one of the other highlights of the competition, American Claressa Shields lived up to expectations and defeated Yenebier Guillen from the Dominican Republic, on points, to take the middleweight title.
…to cater for victims of child sexual abuseThe Social Protection Ministry, through the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA), has partnered with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Blossom Inc and the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) to establish a “One Stop Centre” for vulnerable children in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara- Berbice).Linden Mayor Waneka Arrindell cutting the ribbon to open the Centre, assisted by LHC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Farouk Riyasat and officials gathered at the launchThe Centre is established for children who are victims of sexual abuse.It will provide support for interviewing and after-care services. Similar centres are earmarked to be established throughput the regions of Guyana, to bring relief to vulnerable children and their families.Situated in a space set aside at the LHC, the Centre was officially launched on Tuesday in the presence of numerous officials.Speaking at the simple ceremony, Linden Mayor Waneka Arrindell expressed gratitude to the team, noting that it was a commendable effort.Deputy Director of Children Services, Fiona October, who also addressed the gathering, said that the process will have the involvement of other partners such as law enforcement, the prosecution and the health sector to record the child victim’s account of abuse.She said the process will require a forensic interviewer in a special room while the representatives from the key disciplines observe and listen to the interview in a different space.This will facilitate the child having to tell of the incident only once and thereafter commence the healing process and court support to see the case through the judicial system, October indicated.Regional Chairman Renis Morian congratulated the agencies as he encouraged them to move beyond a space, to establish a permanent building in the Region. Morian pointed out that some of the greatest crimes against children were committed in their homes, as he urged all to push to ensure children’s rights are protected.“We need to continue to push more to see more stringent laws enacted to protect our children. I love the space here and I want to encourage all working in this environment to really work assiduously to bring protection for our children…This is a good start, but I’m saying to the Ministry of Social Protection, the Regional Democratic Council, the hospital and every other agency represented here, we need to push the envelope beyond a space, we need a building…,” Morian emphasised.The space was officially declared open by the ceremonial cutting of a ribbon. (Utamu Belle)