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Sella’s Olympic boxing dream ends after 67 seconds



Sella’s Olympic boxing dream ends after 67 seconds

Eldric Sella has gone through an arduous journey to Tokyo, spending years visualizing himself throwing punches in the Olympic boxing ring.

But when his Games experience finally came true on Monday, it only lasted 67 seconds.

Representing the Refugee Olympic team, Venezuelan-born middleweight Sella faced Euri Cedeno of the Dominican Republic in his opener and quickly found himself lying on the floor after a few seconds.

He got up in time to survive the referee’s count, but a minute had passed when another powerful jab from Cedeno caught his face.

This left him frozen for a second.

The referee didn’t allow more as he felt the 24-year-old was clearly overwhelmed and awarded the fight to Cedeno.

Sella didn’t want to leave the ring so soon after all his efforts to get there.

At the age of 18, he joined the Venezuelan national boxing team, but a lack of resources in the aftermath of the economic crisis in the country forced him to resign.

Longing for better opportunities and more stability, Sella fled Venezuela in 2018.

He claimed asylum in Trinidad and Tobago, where he had been invited to participate in a boxing tournament.

The following year he was joined by his father, who is also his trainer, in the Caribbean nation.

Sella worked odd jobs for a living, but the love for boxing and the Olympic dream were still deep in her mind.

“There was not a day when I didn’t think of the Olympics, when I didn’t think of boxing,” he told after having the chance to compete in Tokyo as a member of the refugee team.

“When I was mixing concrete I thought about how it would help me in my boxing career. When I mowed the grass I thought about how it would help me in my boxing career.

“When I painted a house, or whatever I was doing, I always had in mind what I wanted to do.”

There was, however, a nervous wait before he could make the trip to Japan.

He needed an exemption from the government of Trinidad and Tobago to travel because of his refugee status.

His appearance on the Olympic stage, although brief, made him want more.

“How do I feel about being an Olympic athlete? I don’t know yet, ”he said, trying to hold back tears of emotion.

“But you will see me at the next Olympics and I will answer that question better. At the moment, I cannot answer it. “(Reuters / NAN)

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