Christine Ongare saves Kenya blushes at the World Boxing Championships

By Washington Onyango | Mar 19, 2023
Christine Ongare (red) of Team Kenya competes against Priyanka Dhillon (blue) of Team Canada during the Women’s Boxing Over 45kg-48kg Minimum-weight Quarter-Final in 2022 Commonwealth Games. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

At last, former Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare has done it!

As she did it during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia when she won Kenya’s bronze medal then, Ongare saved Kenya’s blushes at the 13th World Women Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India when she registered Kenya’s second victory in the tournament’s history.

The first victory was when Nakuru-based boxer Mary Muthoni triumphed at the global showpiece in 2010 in Barbados.

On Saturday, Ongare beat Tanzania’s Rahman Maganga in the first round 5-0 before overwhelming her opponent for the referee to stop the contest (RSC) in the second in the one sided match after she (Maganga) failed to survive the 10 mandatory count by the referee.

That was the second time Maganga fell in the hands of Ongare, the first one being during the East Africa Club Championships in Dar Es Salaam in January this year.

Before the match, predictions favoured the Kenyan boxer against her Tanzanian opponent in the minimumweight contest.

And a few hours into the match, Maganga had warned Ongare saying: “I’ll knock her (Ongare) out this time since I cannot afford to lose against her for a second time and ensure I beat her (Ongare) to retirement."

Ongare got the approval of all the five judges in all the three rounds winning 5-0 in each of the rounds to bring back some smiles to the technical bench headed by Musa Benjamin having earlier suffered six loses in their opening six matches.

“As I had said, it is a step at a time to reclaim our lost glory. Ongare has started it and more victories will come this time and in different international championships,” Benjamin told Standard Sports from New Delhi.

Earlier, three Kenyan female boxers exited the tournament.

They were led by Africa Zone Three middleweight silver medallist Elizabeth ‘Jaber’ Akinyi who was beaten 5-0 by Lin Chien Yu of Taipei before lightweight Stacy Ayoma fell 4-1 to Christina Chipa of Moldova.

And it was also a sad day for another Africa Zone Three light welterweight gold medallist Teresia Wanjiru who was beaten by Shashi Chopra of India through a unanimous points’ decision.

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