Tuesday, September 19|
Aussies look to future after ending feud
SYDNEY, Australia -- Australia's Olympic boxing team
said on Tuesday it had resolved a damaging internal feud with
the help of professional world champion Kostya Tszyu.
"The guys have all shook hands," team manager Peter Rogers
said at a training session.
"We've had a bit of a cuddle, we've had a bit of a cry some
of us, we've spoken to the support people around us and we're
all very positive.
"We are a united team and we are all heading in the same
However, despite assurances that the matter had been
resolved and a "line in the sand" drawn out, the atmosphere
after training seemed more suggestive of an uneasy truce than
unity and togetherness.
Coach Bodo Andreass, who had been struggling to get all his
boxers to attend training after they apparently split into two
groups following a training camp in New Caledonia, announced he
was "not talking to anybody" from the media.
Some of the boxers were also reluctant to discuss the
situation in any detail.
Michael Katsidis, one of two boxers named in Australian
newspapers as having been frozen out by Andreass, said the
atmosphere after a meeting with Tszyu and officials to clear
the air on Monday was "just bearable."
The Daily Telegraph newspaper said Katsidis and
welterweight Richie Rowles had been accused of refusing heavy
sparring against the French, Italian and German teams in New
Caledonia last week.
"Every decision that I have made along the way has been to
enhance my performance at the Olympics so if I haven't been
able to do something it's because it would have hampered my
performance," Katsidis said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Australians sparred again with the Germans on Tuesday,
with James Swan sporting a black eye inflicted on him by
featherweight opponent Falk Huste.
Tszyu, a former Soviet Olympic boxer who was a world
amateur champion in 1991 and fought more than 200 amateur
bouts, was drafted in to provide motivation and experience on
Monday night in a 45-minute meeting.
"We just all respect him ... his words were very good," said
Although Tszyu was not at training on Tuesday, a team
statement said he hoped to attend further sessions.
Rogers meanwhile attempted to play down the tensions as
little more than minor disagreements between a group of young
men who had been on the road together too long.
Australia have been training in Indonesia, Colorado and New
Caledonia over the past two months.
"They were just little niggling things like 'Okay, I had a
couple of pieces of toast in the toaster back in Darwin and you
took one of them and you didn't apologise'," said Rogers.
"And things fester and go on and on. We cleared all those
things, we got them off our chests and we are going forward."
Rogers insisted that Andreass, despite Tuesday's media
reports to the contrary, "will support all the boxers. All the
boxers are supporting Bodo."