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Olympics: Okoth and Ongare put rivals on notice, promise to deliver

BOXING By Ben Ahenda | July 20th 2021
The flyweight boxer Christine Ongare during the team's training session at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on August 6, 2019. [Photo/Stafford Ondego}

2015 Africa Boxing Championships lightweight gold medalist Nick Okoth and Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medalist Christine Ongare are confident of winning medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The two said in separate interviews that a podium finish will be the hallmark of their ultimate quest for top honours.

And after training for close to nine months, this is the time to stand up and be counted.

Okoth said the impressive preparations and training sessions they had will give them the extra push in their medals quest.

“We had good training sessions between us and sparring partners and coaches who have really worked round the clock to ensure we measure up to the required standards,” he told Standard Sports before they left for Japan on Saturday night.

Team captain featherweight Nick Okoth [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Okoth and Ongare are among four national team boxers who will be in action during the games.

The others are Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships super-heavyweight gold medallist Elly Ajowi and national welterweight champion Elizabeth Akinyi.

Ongare said nothing will stop her from finishing within the medal brackets.

“Finishing among the top three is our ultimate goal at the Olympics and we are determined not to let Kenyans down after the rigorous training sessions we’ve had with our sparring partners and coaches,” Ongare said.

Ongare’s sparring partners were national flyweight champion Shaffi Bakari and his upcoming rival David Karanja.

“These (sparring partners) were male boxers and you can be assured they developed and increased my punching power. My opponents should brace for tough moments,” she said.

“Prayers is all that we need from Kenyans in our quest to win medals,” said national welterweight champion Elizabeth Akinyi.

flyweight Christine Ongare, boxing team Kenya-Hit squad. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Ajowi said they have learnt enough techniques and new skills.

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