Kenyans find going tough in World Women Boxing Championships

Kenya's Elizabeth Akinyi (left) competing in a past bout. [Reuters]

It was a sad day for African boxers including Kenyans after they lost all their matches on the third day of World Women Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday night.

All the four Kenyan pugilists were dismissed in their pre-quarter final bouts at the Sinan Erdem Dome.

The quartet of Africa Zone Three Boxing medallists in flyweight Ann Wanjiru (bronze), featherweight Beatrice Akoth (bronze), light-welter Teresia Wanjiru (gold) and middleweight Elizabeth ‘Jaber’ Akinyi (silver) were all beaten on unanimous points’ decision.

Wanjiru (Ann) was beaten by Ukraine’s Tetiana Kob, Akoth fell to Jucielen Romeu of Brazil and Akinyi lost to Ukraine’s Karolina Makhno.

Wanjiru (Teresia), who won a gold medal at Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, was beaten by former world champion Assunta Canfora of Italy.

Head coach Musa Benjamin said: “They (boxers) had given their best save for Wanjiru (Ann) who erred in a few technical and tactical skills that cost her the match but that will be corrected.”

Benjamin’s sentiments were echoed by Boxing Federation of Kenya president Anthony ‘Jamal’ Ombok who said the tournament has given young players a chance to showcase their talent.

“They have proved their capacity to play global giants and ready for other international assignments,” said Ombok.

Just like Kenyans, other African boxers were also lost their bouts. 

Africa featherweight champion Marcelat Sakobi of DRC was beaten by Carolina Gomez of Venezuela in a closely contested match.

Burundi’s sole representative, flyweight Ornella Havyarimana was no match for Ireland’s Carly McNaul who defeated her by unanimous points decision.

It was equally tough for South Africa’s Phiwokuhle Mnguni (featherweight), Pamela Mayoli (light-welter) and Deanne Dick (middleweight) who all lost their matches on unanimous points’ decision.

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