By Erick Ochieng’
Team Kenya boxing representative Benson Gicharu, 27, has quit the national team.
Gicharu has decided to end his contract with the national team over what he termed as discrimination by the National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOC-K) while in London.
The Commonwealth Games flyweight silver medalist who was forced to come back from London on Saturday said things became worse for him when he lost his bout by 16-19 points to 18 year old Egyptian Abdelaal Hesham.
“I experienced hostility from a NOC-K official who even changed my air ticket twice for me to return home,” he said. Team Kenya was scheduled to officially depart from London on Monday and is expected in the country on Wednesday.
“I asked the official if he would have changed my ticket if I had qualified for the finals but he said I was in disciplined and that he will deal with me once he jets back,” said Gicharu who also confirmed they did not receive all the kits from Nock. Gicharu is also bitter with the lowly treatment he got from NOC-K saying he has given his all and sacrificed a lot for the national team.
“It was evident I was robbed of victory in London, “he said.
Among his plans now is to carry on playing for the Police in the national Amateur Boxing Association league.
He is also focusing at revamping his local gym at Our Lady Queen of Peace in South B to tap and promote talent.
“The lesson I learnt at the Olympics is that we should start promoting boxing from the grassroots if we want to realise medals in the future Olympics,” said Gicharu who is also the 2011 Benazir Bhutto Memorial Tournament silver medalist.
At the same time in her Facebook page Kenya’s women Olympic boxing representative Elizabeth Andiego, who also lost in her first bout at the Olympics, updated the way she stood her ground and refused to accept her changed air ticket forcing NOC-K to reschedule her departure on Tuesday.