Hit Squad fly to Cuba for specialised training

Kenya's Elizabeth Andiego (right) in a past action with Elif Guneri of Turkey. [File]

The national boxing team has landed a 10-day-specialised training in Cuba to prepare them for Africa Olympic Qualifiers.

The trip comes barely a few weeks after they participated in the African Boxing Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon last month.

The Africa Olympic Qualifiers will be held in Dakar, Senegal on September 9-15.

All teams which participated in Africa Boxing Championships are expected to feature in the qualifiers.

Training in Cuba, which is a former world champion and one of the world's greatest and polished boxing nations could boost Kenya's chances of performing well at the continental qualifiers and possibly enhance their chances to secure a few slots for next year's Paris Olympics in France.

Head coach Musa Benjamin was elated with the specialized training saying it would help get some exclusive exposure before the continental qualifiers.

"The trip to Havana is a special one in Kenya's boxing history and training there will help our boxers get the required exposures, which are very rare to come. We are glad to have received such a crucial trip," said Benjamin.

All the 12 boxers who were selected to take part in the qualifiers left for Cuba on Friday.

The team has been training at Mathare Police Depot for the last two months, which they always extended it to VMX Gym Village in Gigiri.

The travelling party include team captain and Africa Zone Three heavyweight gold medallist Elizabeth Andiego, zonal flyweight gold medallist David Karanja, deputy captain and light middleweight Boniface Mogunde, welterweight Ethan Maina, light heavyweight Robert Okaka, heavyweight Peter Abuti and super heavyweight Fred Ramogi.

Others are former Commonwealth Games flyweight bronze medallist Christine Ongare, bantamweight Amina Martha, featherweight Pauline Chege, welterweight Friza Anyango and lightweight Teresia Wanjiru.

After the completion of the specialised training on September 4, the team will then fly directly from Havana to Dakar for the continental showpiece.

"We'll just proceed to Dakar from Cuba to prepare for the continental qualifiers since time will not be on our side," said Benjamin.

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