It was a sad day for the African boxers who stormed the quarterfinals of the World Women Boxing Championships as all of them save for one failed to cruise into the last four in New Delhi, India last evening.
Africa Boxing Championships light heavyweight silver medallist and Kenyan captain Elizabeth Andiego was among the continental heavyweights who bid the two week-showpiece bye ungracefully.
Andiego was stopped by Fariza Shotley of Kazakhstan who is the Asian light heavyweight champion on unanimous points decision.
With the exit of Andiego, the full squad of 11 boxers who featured in the tournament are expected to return home empty handed after all of them failed to go past the quarterfinals.
She (Andiego) was the only pugilist to reach the last eight after getting a bye in the pre-quarterfinals’ match in what boxing experts termed as ill preparations.
Former national head coach and the 1987 All Africa Games lightweight gold medallist Patrick ‘Mont’ Waweru said Kenya needs to play North African countries in friendly matches ahead crucial global championships like this one.
He said Kenya needs to play many friendly matches against North African countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as they are better in standards compared to East African countries.
“Playing North African countries is better than the East Africans. They can make us improve on our standards when we are faced with crucial events. The national boxing federation should also act on technicalities that make us fail,”Waweru told Standard Sports.
Former Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare who was among Kenya’s medal hopefuls was beaten in pre-quarterfinal match by Erivan Barut of Turkey on points, a verdict that was bitterly contested by Ongare and the technical bench led by head coach Musa Benjamin.
“It is the referee (Japanese Riichi Igarashi) who messed me up with unnecessary stoppage that caused me the bout,” a bitter Ongare told Standard Sports.
Other African boxers who fell in the quarterfinals yesterday were Africa middleweight champion Alcinda Dos Santos of Mozambique and Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib.
Alcinda got a rude shock against Australia’s Kaye Scott in the light middleweight bout on split points’ decision while Russia’s Anastasila Demurchian beat Chaib on points.
Yesterday, only one African boxer in Morocco’s Yasminne Mouttaki who outpointed Bulgaria’s Yuliyanova Asenova in the minimuweight fight.
Wednesdays Quarterfinals Results
Light heavyweight (81kg) – Kenya’s Elizabeth Andiego lost on points to Fariza Shotley of Kazakhstan.
Light middleweight (71kg) - Alcinda Dos Santos of Mozambique lost on points against Australia’s Kaye Scott.
Minimuweight (48kg) - Morocco’s Yasminne Mouttaki beat Yuliyanova Asenova of Bulgaria on points.