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Kenya’s Otieno voted best referee in Russian boxing tournament

BOXING By Ben Ahenda | May 17th 2021
Kenya’s Nelson Otieno refereeing a bout at the Konstatin Korotkov Memorial International Boxing Championship [Courtesy]

Kenya’s top international referee cum judge Nelson Otieno was voted one of the best referees in the Konstatin Korotkov Memorial International Boxing Championships that ended in Russia over the weekend.

Otieno who was the only African referee in the nine-day tournament officiated several matches, with his last one being the semifinal featherweight match between Tomo Tsuboi of Japan and Azerbaijan's Umoid Rystamnov.

Previously, he had officiated in the Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo in March after having taken part in the World Military Games in South Korea in 2015.

"It is a big honour given to me and Kenya and hope to continue in the same spirit in future international assignments," Otieno told Standard Sports.

The tournament attracted three African countries: Kenya, Morocco and Algeria. Kenya is the only country in Africa that produced a referee to officiate in the tournament.

As Otieno was being given a standing ovation at Lenina International Sports Complex-Stadium in the city of Khabarovsk, two Kenyan boxers also received their bronze medals.

They include 2015 Africa Boxing Championships lightweight (60kg) Gold medallist Nick 'Commander' Okoth and double Olympian and Africa Zone Three super heavyweight (over 91kg) Gold medalist Elly Ajowi.

Okoth was beaten in the featherweight (57kg) semifinals on a unanimous decision by Russia's Ovik Oganisyan while Ajowi lost his quarterfinal match against Uzberkistan's Madiyar Saidrahmov.

Commonwealth Games flyweight (48kg) bronze medalist Christine Ongare and National lightweight (58kg) champion Elizabeth Akinyi finished fifth in their respective weight categories.

The four boxers were handled by three coaches led by Musa Benjamin and assistant coaches David Munuhe and John Waweru while Linus Ouma was the team manager.

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