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Kenya eye more slots in Tokyo Games

Last updated 1 month ago | By Xinhua

In this Nov. 28, 2019 file photo Olympic Rings and a model of Misha the Bear Cub, the mascot of the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games, left, are seen in the yard of Russian Olympic Committee building in Moscow, Russia. [AP]

Kenya is looking to send more boxers to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games as the team intensifies its preparation ahead of the qualification round in Paris in June.

The boxing team, popularly known as the 'Hit Squad', is currently undergoing training in Nairobi with an aim of getting more slots compared to the three the country secured in the 2016 Rio Games. 

In Rio, welterweight Rayton Okwiri, flyweight Peter Mungai Warui, and bantamweight Benson Gicharu were Kenya’s representatives and were eliminated in the qualification rounds.

So far only two boxers have secured tickets to the Tokyo Games — Nick Okoth, 37, and Christine Ongare, 26, both were victorious at the continental qualifications in Dakar, Senegal last year.

The country will be sending more boxers to battle it out in Paris where 35 spots will be up for grabs.

Welterweight boxers Boniface Mogunde and Elizabeth Akinyi hope the advanced training the team is undergoing will increase their chances of qualification.

“Previously we were doing a lot of training to an extent we could even overtrain which in the long run was in some way affecting our fitness,” said Mugande in a statement.

Akinyi, a semi-final loser in Senegal, said she was confident that the changing of her training program will enable her to get desirable results in France.

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