Ongare, Andiego sail into boxing quarters as games start in UK

Kenyan boxer Elizabeth Andiego stretches out at the National Exhibition Centre in West Midlands, Birmingham in United Kingdom on Tuesday. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

With the release of fixtures by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, two female Kenyan boxers have qualified for the quarterfinals without throwing a jab at the Club Games that commenced yesterday in Birmingham, England.

They are 2018 Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare and Africa Zone Three light heavyweight gold medallist Elizabeth Andiego.

This time, Ongare and Andiego will feature in the minimumweight (48 kg) and middleweight (74kg) respectively.
Ongare takes on Priyanka Dhillon of Canada on August 3 as Andiego faces Australia’s Anne Parker the same day.

With that new development, the boxers have appealed for fair officiating as they aim to restore Kenya’s lost glory in the global boxing international market.
In their past participation at the World Boxing Championships and 2020 Olympic Games, that was their main complain as they performed dismally.  

However, they are keen not to repeat similar mistakes that saw them get penalised by judges when they lost valuable points against their opponents at the two international championships.

“This (fair officiating) is key to our success in Club Games but we are also keen not to repeat similar mistakes we did before that gave judges a chance to penalise us in the global championships and in Olympics. We are seeking to reach the medal bracket and come back home with our heads high,” Ongare told Standard Sports.

Other two boxers in the squad are 2015 Africa Boxing Championships lightweight gold medallist Nick Okoth, and Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships bantamweight gold medallist Hassan Shaffi Bakari.

Okoth said: “I have really prepared well for these games and as a soldier ‘Forward Ever Backward Never!’ After getting into the battlefield, we are ready to give our best as each boxer has two hands, not three in the fight for the top medal.”