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Olympics: Boxer Nick Okoth breaks silence after loss to Mongolia’s Erdenebatyn

Mongolia's Tsendbaatar Erdenbat, left, exchanges punches with Kenya's Nicholas Okong'o Okoth during their men's featherweight 57-kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

Boxer Nick Okoth’s search for an elusive Olympic medal ended at the first stage in Tokyo on Saturday, with the 39-year-old confirming that Tokyo 2020 was his final step in the chase for the medal.

The national boxing team captain, who is better known as Commander by his peers in boxing, said that at his age it will be very difficult to expect him to be in the ring in the next three years when the Olympic Games are next held in Paris in 2024.

“I have won all the medals I would have wanted to win in boxing and the Olympics one is the one that I wanted, but unfortunately I was not lucky to get it," Okoth said after losing to Mongolia’s Erdenebatyn Tsendbaatar.

“At 38, it will be tough for me to fight at this stage again, but maybe I will try my luck again to win another medal at the Commonwealth Games."

Okoth was also graceful in defeat saying that even though he thought he had won, he had no problem with the judges who ruled 3-2 in favour of the Mongolian in the feather weight round of 32 match.

“I knew I had won the game, but after they decided otherwise then who am I to go against their decision. This is not the only game and will look forward to the Commonwealth for now,” Okoth said.

He said he had nothing against his opponent and he would be happy if he went all the way to the medal bracket.

“I know him well and even during the bout I knew how he was going to fight. I know I out-boxed him in the opening two rounds and in the end he was declared the winner and we all have to accept that,” Okoth said.

Okoth was also quick to say that his loss should not demolarise the other boxers as they prepare to get to the ring here in Tokyo.

Today, Christine Ongare will be taking on Philippines Irish Magno in the women’s fly round of 32 match at 11:15am (5:15am Kenyan time).

Ongare will be hoping to put up a good show and keep alive chances of Kenya’s boxers at the Olympics.

It will not be easy for Ongare having seen the Hit Squad skipper Okoth bowing out in the opening round of the competition.

She however said her mission in Tokyo was to win a medal. But it remains to be seen what she will do this morning.

Only four Kenyan boxers managed to secure tickets to the Olympics with the others being Elly Ajowi and Elizabeth Akinyi.

Both Ajowi and Akinyi will be fighting on Tuesday.

 

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