KDF and Police rule Africa Olympic selection trials matches

Kenya's Shaffie Bakari in a past action. [File, Standard]

National Boxing Team members easily won their opening matches as the national selection trials for Africa Olympic Qualifiers entered the second day at Charter Hall, Nairobi on Friday.

The Africa Olympic Qualifiers (AOQ) will be held in Dakar, Senegal in September.

All boxers, particularly those from the counties taking part in the three-day-tournament are determined to make it to the finals hence making the event very competitive.

Africa Zone Three bantamweight champion Shaffi Bakari and light middleweight silver medallist Boniface Mogunde who box for league champions Kenya Police cruised to the next stage of the event.

Bakari secured a unanimous points’ victory over Kombo Mwinyi of Kongowea as Mogunde registered a similar victory over Eugene Otieno of Kisumu.

“We are again ready for another epic event but must first ensure we get selected into the national team that should enable us to square it out with the rest of African boxers to pick Olympic tickets,” said Mogunde who is the Kenyan captain.

Kenya Defence Forces boxers featherweight Samuel Njau, light middleweight Lucky Nyiro and lightweight Dennis Muthama also won their matches into the next stages.

Njau knocked out Fred Omollo of Siaya in the second round, Nyiro won on a walkover as Muthama beat Francis Nzagi of Nairobi 4-1.

“It was a tough match against Njau but I’ll live to fight for another day," said Omollo.

Former champions Kenya Prisons who are trying to make a comeback in the local scene after a lackluster performance in the last five years also field their boxers but achieved mixed results.

Light middleweights Allan Kwendo and Francis Lenox (of the Prisons) lost their matches when the referee stopped the contests in different rounds to Steve Olang of Police and Charles Obonyo of Homa bay respectively.

Although they lost some of their matches, Prisons’ performance has started to be felt after recruiting some of the upcoming boxers.

Players from the counties also proved their worthiness as they won their matches and could face some of the experienced boxers in the finals this afternoon.

Like Kenya Prisons, Nakuru are also steadily making a comeback after a long lull taking three boxers to the last eight with Jos Kipkoech securing a 5-0 win over Elisha Omondi of Homabay in the featherweight.

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