Kenya walk a tightrope as two boxers take the ring

Kenya's Women Middleweight champion Elizabeth Andiego training in Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Two Kenyan boxers carry the hope of boxer lovers as they take to the ring in the quarter finals of the IBA Women’s World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey competition.

Evelyne Akinyi and Elizabeth Andiego are the only boxers remaining in the contention out of the 10 that had been entered in the championships.

The 26-year-old National women’s Lightweight champion Evelyn Akinyi will be the first Kenya in action for the Round of 16 today Sunday. Akinyi, a former deadly striker with Manyatta United FC in Kisumu, will battle it out with 33-year-old Cape Verde’s Ivanusa Gomes Moreira, the 2019 African Games bronze medallist.

Moreira qualified after trouncing Moroccan Oumayma Bel Ahbib.

Democratic Republic of Congo's Jocelyn Tshamala, will also be in the ring today to take on Kosovo's lightweight Donjeta Sadiku who eliminated Japan's Ayaka Taguchi.

The light weight Elizabeth Andiego who has been a boxer for 10 years and a fitness instructor for about 8 years was the first to qualify to the quarters in the 12th IBA Women’s Championship.

She sailed without making any punches and will take on her host Elif Guneri from Turkey on Monday.

Guneri, riding on her multiple medal cap in various World Championships having bagged a gold medal in Europeans Championships in 2016, 2018 and 2019, Silver in 2019, bronze in 2014, 2016 and 2018 made it to the round of 16 after running over South Africa’s Mkateko Sithole on Friday.

Kenya floated 10 boxers with Ayoma Stacy, light weight and Martha Amina, Bantam Weight being the latest casualties to be bundled out of the championship.

Amina lost the battle to Poland’s Wiktoria Rogalinska who was eliminated with 5-0 while Ayoma was shown the door by a point from Jocelyne Tshamala of DRC Congo.

Light-middleweight Lorna Kusa, lightweight Christine Ongare, flyweight Ann Wanjiru, featherweight Beatrice Akoth, middleweight Elizabeth Akinyi, and light-welter Teresia Wanjiru, and now Martha and Ayoma have all been boxed out of contention.

Other Africans who registered wins on day 4 of the competition are Algeria's light-fly Roumaysa Bovalam, Cape Verde's Ivanusa Moreira and Algeria's ichrak Chaib joining Morocco's Yasmine Mouttaki, Algeria's Imane Khelif and Mozambican Rady Gramane who won on the previous rounds.