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A Knockout Performance

Sports Science Team

UEL welterweight boxer Christian Mbwakongo came close to a stunning victory in the Gee Bee Boxing Championships in Finland.

Christian - a first year Sport PE and Development student - almost knocked out Irish Olympic champion Adam Nolan in the final. But the Irishman recovered to win the bout leaving Christian with a silver medal.

“To almost defeat an Olympic champion is great preparation for the Olympic qualifiers,” said Mr Mbwakongo. “By facing top level fighters who are world-ranked gives me an indication of what it’s going to be like fighting in these tournaments.”

Christian was part of the Team GB contingent in Finland where 81 men and 11 women were vying for top honours.

Fresh from his gold medal at the recent British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National championships, Christian powered through to beat Sagadat Rakhmankulov from Kazakhstan 2:1. In the final he almost knocked out Nolan but ultimately lost to him 3:0.

The boxer says he is inspired by Anthony Joshua who still trains with GB boxers in Sheffield and is very grateful to the University of East London’s role on his route to success.

“UEL has played a big role in helping me achieve my medals including the silver in the Gee Bee Tournament and a Gold at the BUCS championships,” said Mr Mbwakongo. “The University has worked closely with my lifestyle advisor Richard Smith and worked around my timetable so I'm able to go to my regular GB camps in Sheffield. I also get extended deadlines for times when they’re needed for tournament and camp purposes which is great. Special thanks to Matthew Tansley for all his help.”

Hopes are high for Christian’s future achievements. He plans to go to the Olympic qualifiers with an aim of winning a gold medal at Rio.

“We believe that Christian has got what it takes to qualify for the Olympics and that he can go all the way,” said David Cosford, Director of Sport at UEL. “We are very proud of his achievements so far.”

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.