Three Kenyan boxers who were expected to reach the finals of the Africa Boxing Championships were all beaten in their semifinal matches in Yaounde, Cameroon on Friday night.
Many boxing pundits expected at least one of the three boxers in Africa Zone Three heavyweight gold medallist Elizabeth Andiego, zonal flyweight gold medalist David Karanja and heavyweight sensational Robert Okaka to make it to the finals as had been in previous championships.
It was not to be though as all of them fell by the wayside against more established opponents.
Andiego who this time plied in the middleweight was beaten by the world champion Khadija Mardi of Morocco on unanimous points’ decision.
The Moroccan dominated all the three rounds and at the end of the match.
Karanja fell to Mtintelwa Sinovuyo of South Africa with Okaka shown the door by Ngamissengue Mpi Anauel of Congo Brazzaville.
And with the defeat of the last three boxers standing, it was the end of the road for the former African champions who had fielded 10 male and five female boxers in the showpiece in their quest to redeem lost glory.
As a result, Kenya ended the tournament with seven bronze medals with all the medallist each taking home Sh711,814.
They include Andiego, Karanja, Okaka, minimumweight Christine Ongare, bantamweight Amina Martha, bantamweight Hassan Shaffi Bakari and heavyweight Peter Abuti.
This means Kenya reaped a total of Sh4,982,698 from the medallists save for the quarter-finalists who each also will be paid Sh355,900.
The quarter-finalists were featherweight Samuel Njau and light middleweight Boniface Mogunde.
Kenya failed to enter any of her boxers in the finals.
Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Algeria and Cameroon led with placement of number of their boxers in the final.
DRC had 11, Morocco 10, Algeria six, Cameroon and Mozambique had four each, South Africa three, Nigeria and Uganda two each while Cape Verde, Congo, Gabon, Mauritius, Senegal, Seychelles, Tanzania and Tunisia had one each.
Kenya was using the event to prepare for the Olympic Qualifiers next month.