What coaches think of female boxers heading for global championships

By Ben Ahenda | Mar 09, 2023

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

With the naming of the final squad for the World Women Boxing Championships, coaches have resorted to ways to ensure the Kenyan boxers win medals.

The global championships will be held in New Delhi, India from March 15 - 31st.

The first quality in the squad is the choice of experienced boxers who have won medals in Africa and different global championships to be the first medal prospects at the showpiece.

"Experience was a key factor in selecting this squad so that we first deal with skilled boxers whom we just need short notice to polish their skills as we train and bring on board upcoming players for continuity," head coach Musa Benjamin told Standard Sports.

However, he said all boxers have the potential to win medals for the country and therefore no one has been underestimated.

In the squad, are boxers who have previously featured in the global championships like World Women Boxing Championships, Olympics, and Commonwealth Games and in continental championships like Africa Boxing Championships, All Africa Games, Africa Olympic Qualifiers and Africa Zone Three Championships and a number of global invitational championships.

The squad also has boxers who are making their debut in the international championships in India.

Captain Elizabeth Andiego as the most experienced boxer in the squad has featured in all the aforementioned competitions ahead of former Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare who has featured in all competitions save for the Olympics.

Secondly, Benjamin said merit and consistency in training sessions for the seven weeks also guided them on who to don national team colours this time round.

"Stamina was also a key factor in the training sessions," he said.

Of the 14 boxers who started non residential training at Mathare Police Depot in Nairobi seven weeks back, none of them had sustained any injuries, a development that also impressed has elated the technical bench.

"We are heading to the global championships with our heads high since we don't have injuries in our camp and the female boxers are keen to reach the medal bracket just like in our expectations," Benjamin stated.

He said Africa Zone Three gold medallists in heavyweight Andiego (Elizabeth) and light welterweight Teresia Wanjiru are some of the best medal prospects at the global championships.

"Although any of the boxers in the squad has abilities to reach the medal bracket, the duo is a possible lead in the hunt," he stated.

Two assistant coaches David Munuhe and John Waweru are assisting Benjamin towards their ambition.

Munuhe said the seven weeks in their training sessions coupled with the roadworks and technical skills orientation the boxers underwent in their training sessions was enough for them to deliver the required medals.

"We have had good sessions with the boxers and they have displayed high technical skills learnt from us that should see them reach respectable stages in the global showpiece," Munuhe pointed out.

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