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Top Kenyan referee Nelson Otieno to officiate in Russia showpiece

BOXING By Ben Ahenda | May 5th 2021
Referee Nelson Otieno awards Emanual Olai (right) of Kampala the Middleweight title after beating Arnold Ochieng of Kenya during the 4th Harold Obunga memorial tournament at Kaloleni handball grounds on Dec 2, 2017. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

Top Kenyan referee cum judge Nelson Otieno has been appointed to officiate in the Konstantin Korotkov Memorial Boxers' Cup International in Khabarovsk, Russia from May 10-18.

Otieno, one of the top referees in Africa, is a regular participant in the National Boxing League and other international championships and therefore his appointment to officiate in Russia did not come as a surprise to him.

His last international assignment was during Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo in March.

He joins a long list of other international referees from Europe who will officiate in the nine-day competition starting Monday.

Otieno is a regular participant in the National Boxing League. [Photo: Courtesy]

Coming just two months before 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this is the second time for Otieno to officiate at the global level having done so during the World Military Games in South Korea in 2015.

"This is a big honour on my part and I'll give it my all while coming at a time when the National Boxing Team is faced with several international assignments ahead of the Olympics," Otieno told The Standard Sports.

While joining head coach Musa Benjamin, assistant coaches David Munuhe and John Waweru, team manager Linus Ouma and Communications Director Duncan Kuria, Otieno becomes the sixth official to join 'The Hit Squad' in their trip to Russia.

The team includes 2015 Africa Boxing Championships lightweight (60kg) gold medallist Nick 'Commander' Okoth, double Olympian and Africa Zone Three super heavyweight (over 91kg) gold medallist Elly Ajowi, Commonwealth Games flyweight (48kg) bronze medallist Christine Ongare and national lightweight (58kg) champion Elizabeth Akinyi.

Otieno's last international assignment was during Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships in Congo. [Photo: Courtesy]
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