From Complexo da Maré, in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro, straight to Tokyo, athlete Wanderson de Oliveira, 24, is one of the bets of Brazilian boxing on the Olympic Games. Wanderson debuted with a victory last Sunday (25) against the Syrian athlete Wessam Salama and is now in the round of 16 in the men’s lightweight category, which brings together athletes weighing up to 63 kilos.
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Fifth place in the 2019 World Championship and 11th place in the world ranking, the Brazilian dominated the first fight in the games and won by unanimous decision. Wanderson’s next contest will take place on Saturday (31), from 6:00 am, Brasília time, against Belarusian boxer Dzmitry Asanau.
Born in Nova Holanda, one of the largest favelas in Maré, Wanderson came into contact with boxing through a social project called Luta pela paz. Since then it has not stopped, as he told in an interview with the newspaper Voice of Communities, before leaving for Japan.
“I got to know boxing when I was 12 years old. At that time, I played ball for the Luta pela Paz project, which takes place in Maré and one day I entered a space that had a fight ‘bag’ and an acquaintance of mine, who was always taking a toll on us, was there training. So me and other friends decided to get into boxing to mess with him too. Over time, he and my friends dropped out of the sport, but I didn’t. I really had found something I liked,” he said.
Living in São Paulo since joining the Brazilian team, the athlete also highlighted in the interview that his preparation for the Olympic Games comes from years of dedication. “We have been preparing for the Olympics for years. It’s a dream,” he said.
Edition: Mariana Pitasse