By Erick Ochiengâ
Heavyweight sensation Daniel Shisia on Tuesday became the first Kenyan boxer to make a semi-final berth at the on-going Africa Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) contest for Olympics qualifiers that is being staged in Casablanca, Morocco.
Shisia pounded Cameroonian Tangoum Romarick to win 19-14 on points in the quarterfinals. On his way to the last eight, Shisia met Angolan Silva Tumba who he send packing with a 21-9 win.
Shisia, who has made it to the medal bracket, will slug it off against Maxwell Amponsah of Ghana for a slot in the finals on Friday.
"I am happy we are showing a sign of clinching the medal, I hope the other boxers, who made it to the quarterfinals, will work hard to reach the medal bracket category too. We are really very focused," said ABA chairman John Kameta on phone from Morocco on Tuesday.
Benson Njangiru was slug it out against Lavigilante Jason from Mauritius in the menâs flyweight 52kg in the quarterfinals category. On his way to the quarters, Njangiru hit Crimildo Guifutela of Mozambique 17-7.
Denis Okoth, who has also posted impressive result at the championship, was to fight for a semi finals slot with Allisop Andrique from Seychelles in the lightweight category. Aziz Ali, who sailed to the quarterfinals through byes, was to meet Tunisian Yahia Elmekachari in the light heavy contest.
Just like Ali, Charles Okoth made it through to the quarters having been granted byes. Okoth was to engage in his first bout on Tuesday against Paul Schafer of South Africa in the super heavyweight plus category.
Kenyan boxers so far eliminated in the qualifiers are Rayton Okwiri, Tobias Ayot, Martin Aluoch, Victor Opiyo and Peter Warui. Khalsi Mehdi from Madagascar eliminated Okwiri in the welterweight category. Okwiri narrowly lost 11-12 to the opponent.
Ayot, who had a bye in the preliminaries, was sent packing by Chagtmi Hassane of Tunisia who won 18-8.
Aluoch had received bye in the preliminary but was defeated 19-7 by Lbida Aboubakr from Madagascar in bantamweight 56kg quarterfinals contest.
Opiyo, who also received a bye in the preliminary, was bundled out 13-10 by Burundian Bassole Brice in lightweight 64kg. Flissi Mohhamed of Algeria also eliminated Warui in the preliminaries in menâs light fly 46-49kg.