US-based boxer Tianna Guy anticipates the reopening of TT’s borders as she prepares to amplify her training regime ahead of the 2021 Olympic boxing qualifiers.
The 23-year-old is one of national boxing coach Reynold Cox’s nine Olympic prospects targeting a spot at the Tokyo Summer Games. However, the Chaguanas North Secondary graduate has been stuck in the US since March owingto the covid19 pandemic which led the TT Government to close its borders to prevent further spread.
Guy is one of two female boxers, the other being Jewel Lambert, who is gearing up for a hectic Olympic qualification campaign. Although Cox has scheduled full Olympic preparations to resume in August, Guy is eager to return home and get back into the ring.
The determined boxer has been utilising online video conferencing app Zoom to stay in contact with coaches Cox and Rawlson Dopwell. The pair has been assisting her with several physical programmes to maintain a high level of fitness during her unavoidably extended stay in the US.
“Covid19 has restricted athletes a lot even as things are getting slowly back to normal. There are some restrictions which prevent training to some degree (in the US). Nonetheless, I’m still training, getting my runs in and doing a lot of bodyweight exercises. Training for the national team begins August/September so I’m looking forward to that and making sure that I’m prepared for that when it begins,” she said from her American base.
The Enterprise, Chaguanas resident has only been a boxer for three years and has a short history in kickboxing with Fine Line Fight Factory. Having trained in kickboxing for a couple months and even executed a couple of exhibitions, Guy opted to fully transition into boxing.
She has since won the 64kg category at the National Boxing Championships (2017), punched to bronze at the Women’s Continentals (2018) and then crowned Caribbean lightweight champion in the latter.
She also represented TT at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) qualifiers and Games, Pan Am qualifiers and competed in the elite category at the Women’s World Championships in India (2018) and Russia (2019).
“I went to my first World Championships with only five fights recorded and ended up drawing the former junior world champion that year. Although I got bronze at Continentals, the international circuit has been difficult. The level of competition I face are females with years of experience and hundreds of fights,” she added.
Guy is deeply motivated to continue chasing her dream of securing an Olympic spot and becoming TT’s first ever Female Olympic boxing medallist. She admits hindrances such as funding and other elements puts Caribbean athletes at a slight disadvantage when compared to top international athletes.
“I agree it’s hard for Caribbean athletes due to funding, it affects preparation in a number of ways. That experience which is needed for the international circuit, a lot of Caribbean athletes, boxers in particular, hardly have, or they have to be in the sport for years to obtain that experience. I will not be deterred. It’s also every athlete’s main goal. The anticipation (to qualify) is high. It’s even higher since I haven’t been a boxer for less than five years,” Guy stated.
The rising boxer acknowledged Fine Line Fight Factory for building her foundation and enabling her with the tools to secure a national team place. She holds in high regard the TT Boxing Association, Sport Company of TT, TT Olympic Committee and national coaches Cox and Dopwell for ensuring that she keeps developing her technique and improving in the sport.
Guy credited her father, Anthony, and friends Jo-Lyn Price and Ashlene Creed for being her main support system throughout her journey thus far.
She concluded, “My main goals as a TT female boxer firstly is to put TT on the international map. I would also like to be the first female boxer to secure an Olympic medal for us. Additionally, I would like to bring more females to the sport so TT would have a full team of female boxers.”