Okoth, Ongare lead team to Africa Zone Three event
BOXING By Ben Ahenda | February 26th 2021
2014 Africa Boxing Championships gold medalist Nick ‘Commander’ Okoth and national flyweight champion Christine Ongare will lead a squad of 14 players selected for the Africa Zone Three Championships in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo next month.
The two who have already qualified for 2020 Tokyo Olympics will take the event as a training session ahead of the games while the rest will use it as preparation for World Olympic Qualifiers in Paris, France in June.
Kenya is hoping to win more Olympic slots hence the need to send another squad to Paris following a disastrous performance in Dakar, Senegal last year during the African Olympic Qualifiers.
Head coach Benjamin Musa said the Kinshasa championships was a perfect tournament to gauge the effectiveness of those who have already qualified for the Olympics and those still aspiring to do so.
“Kenyan boxers will face some of the most experienced boxers in the continent and therefore expose their strengths and weaknesses for our own analysis before we head to Japan for Olympics,” Musa said.
A total of 13 countries are expected to feature in the six-day-championships that commence on June 20-26 in Kinshasa.
They are hosts DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Equitorial Guinea and Gabon.
A letter from Confederation of African Boxing (CAB) has invited the 13 countries to Kinshasa stating that the venue has been selected due to its central location and quality facilities.
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The team include flyweight Shaffi Bakari (Police) and David Karanja (Nairobi), featherweight Nick Okoth (KDF), lightweight Joseph Shigali (Police) and Victor Odhiambo (KDF).
Others are welterweight Boniface Mogunde (Police), middleweight George Cosby (Police), light heayweight Edwin Okongo (KDF) and Hezron Maganga (KDF), heavyweight Joshua Wasike(Nairobi) and super heavyweight Elly Ajowi (Police).
The female boxers are flyweight Christine Ongare, welterweight Elizabeth Akinyi, lightweight Stacy Atoms and middleweight Elizabeth Andiego.