Boxing: ‘Hit Squad’ ready to battle for African title

By Duncan Kuria: Monday, August 12th 2019 at 10:45 GMT +3 | Boxing
Welter Weight's Vincent Ouma (left) of Kentrackand Boniface Mugunde of Police during the 6th bout of the 3rd Leg of the National SportPesa Boxing League at Ananas Mall, Thika County on Saturday, June 10, 2017. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

During the last edition of African Games in Congo Brazaville in 2015, Algeria won five gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals to top the boxing medals chart at the championship.

Nigeria finished second in the boxing medals chart with four gold medals and two silver.

No doubt that this year’s edition in Morocco will see another onslaught on the medals from the North and West Africans.

Kenya was ranked 12th with two bronze medals and going by their training sessions, head coach Musa Benjamin is sure of guiding his boxers to winning more medals.

The team’s morale at their training camp in Kasarani is at an all-time high mainly due to the optimism brought about by the new leadership of Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK).

The Kenyan medallists from the last edition of Africa Games (Elly Ajowi and Nick Okoth) are still in the team and have expressed confidence they will do better than they did in Congo Brazzaville, in 2015.

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Team captain Nick Okoth, who is the reigning Africa lightweight champion, said nothing will stop him from claiming top honours in the games.

Flyweight Shaffi Bakari is also full of confidence that the work he has put in ahead of the games, will be enough to help him secure a medal in Morocco.

Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Christine Ongare said she has worked very hard to make the Kenyan team and believes the training they had has been world-class

“We have learnt a lot to help us improve at individual level. We will try our best to win medals in the African Games, in Rabat Morroco,” she said.

Several boxers will be making their international debuts in Rabat. Welter-weight Boniface Mugunde is hopeful of winning a medal at the championship.

“This will be my first international assignment with Team Kenya and I am praying for victory,” said Mugunde.

BFK Secretary-General and Team Kenya deputy head coach David Munuhe said the team has made the most of the short period they had in residential camp.

“I expect Algeria to be our main challengers and I am hopeful that this team will do the country proud,” said Munuhe.

BFK president Anthony ‘Jamal’ Otieno is confident of the team performing well and he has promised to be by the ringside to support the team during the games.

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