Flyweight boxer Benson Gicharu will be striving to replicate Robert Wangila’s fete in 1988 Seoul Olympics.
The police boxer is determined to break the gold medal jinx at the forthcoming Olympics, which start in London on July 27.
Gicharu wants to put behind him the Oteng Oteng factor that condemned him to second position at the Benazir Bhutto Memorial tournament in Pakistan last year, Commonwealth Games (2010) and in this year’s Olympics qualifiers in Morocco two months ago.
Gicharu sees Botswana’s Oteng as the main obstacle standing between him and the coveted gold in the Olympics in his category.
“Oteng Oteng has to be eliminated at all costs,” said the boxer at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Tuesday night when he departed to Cardiff, Wales, for two weeks training.
And how is he planning to eliminate Oteng? First the boxer has carried with him several video clips containing images of Oteng in action which he will be analysing before the games.
Secondly, he will continue working on his strength, power and stamina both in Cardiff and in Bristol as he makes best use of the state of the art facilities in the two British cities.
“I am more skillful than Oteng, I only need to study his game and work on my technique then I will be over the moon.”
Gicharu is not cowed by opponents from countries with better training facilities. He says memories of Wangila have to be revived and he is willing to just do that.
“For a long time no Kenyan boxer has been as stylish as Wangila in the Olympics. Wangila’s achievement is what inspired me to strive to qualify for the Olympics,” he said.
When he qualified for the Olympics qualifiers in Morocco two months ago Gicharu rested for only five days before embarking on training.
The boxer says his main challenge is maintaining his current weight as a slight deviation in his training schedule puts him off balance as far as the weight is concerned.