Ajowi among six Kenyan boxers given first round byes
Two Kenyan boxers are assured of a quarterfinal spot after six of them received byes in their opening matches at the African Olympic qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal yesterday.
The lucky few included lightweight Everlyn Akinyi, welterweight Elizabeth Akinyi, African Games flyweight silver medallist Shaffi Bakari, welterweight Boniface Mogunde, Olympian heavyweight Elly Ajowi and African Games super-heavyweight bronze medallist Fred Ramogi.
The byes were God-sent for lightweight Everlyn Akinyi and welterweight Elizabeth Akinyi, who secured their quarterfinal slots without throwing a jab.
Elizabeth will now take on Faruza Osumana of Ghana on Monday while Everlyn will face-off with Mariam Sidibe of Ivory Coast on Tuesday at the Dakar Arena Hall. Osumana had also received a bye in the pre-quarterfinal match.
The other female boxer, who secured his quarterfinal ticket was deputy team captain Elizabeth Andiego, who takes on Gramana Radi Adosinda of Mozambique in a middleweight clash on Monday.
On his part, Bakari (Shaffi) will face-off with the winner of the pre-quarterfinal match between Suleman Tete of Ghana and Egyptian Mostafa Galal Mohammed on Sunday.
Mogunde will meet the winner between Albert Ayissi Mengue of Comoros and Amroug Zine Elkabinidine of Morocco in a pre-quarterfinal welterweight (63-69kg) bout on Monday.
On his part, Ajowi will meet the winner between Sadikt Maroy Maroy of Democratic Republic of Congo and Sam Sandy Sanyang of Gambia on Sunday.
Meanwhile, former Africa Boxing Union professional middleweight champion Rayton Okwiri was expected to fight Salem Elmagashi Emhemed of Libya, at Dakar Arena Hall yesterday.
The winner will face off with David Ssemujju of Uganda.
In a pre-quarterfinal clash.
Head coach Musa Benjamin said sky is the limit in their effort to seek more Olympic slots in the continental Olympic qualifiers.
“There is no shot-cut when it comes to medals in such a crucial tournament. We have trained well and morale of the boxers is high and I have no doubt that at least five of the 13 boxers in the championships, will win tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Benjamin told Standard Sports from Dakar.
Upon his debut in international championships, policeman Joseph Shigali becomes the second Kenyan to bout when he meets Omar Abdul Wahih of Ghana in the first round of lightweight (57-62kg) this afternoon.
African Boxing Championships lightweight gold medalist Nick Okoth is the third boxer to take the ring tomorrow against Carlos Semedo Wilson of Cape Verde in a featherweight (52-57kg) match the Kenyan boxer is tipped to win.
National light heavyweight champion Humphrey Ochieng ‘Jakababa’ takes to the ring on Monday against Assaga Mohammed of Morocco in the first round of the light heavyweight clash.
Other female boxers on card this week are flyweight Christine Ongare(48-52kg) and featherweight Beatrice Akoth (54-57kg).
Ongare takes on Havjaramana Omella of Burundi on Sunday while Akoth face Ramla Ali Mohammed of Somalia this afternoon.
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