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Boxing: Okoth keeps pressing on as he eyes Olympic gold medal in Tokyo

RUGBY By Ben Ahenda | June 24th 2020
Nick Okoth of the All African Games trains at the Kenya Police Deport in Muthaiga Nairobi ahead of the All African Games ion Morocco next month. 26-7-2019 [Phillip Orwa, Standard]

Africa Boxing Championships lightweight gold medallist Nick Okoth is a man on a mission.

Okoth, who won gold at the 2015 continental championships, he's confident the on-going covid-19 pandemic will not hinder his mission of landing the elusive medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games in Japan, next year.

Okoth said despite the ravages of the virus being felt in almost every country, he has maintained a steady and consistent individual training session for the past 12 weeks with the aim of making his dream come to true.

"It has been tough, but I have managed to it by myself with the support of three national coaches, who guide me through the mobile phone, since we can't meet for a session," Okoth told Standard Sports.  

He is trained by national head coach Musa Benjamin, his deputy David Munuhe and assistant coach John Waweru.

"They have been very helpful and instrumental. We will continue with this arrangement until the government lifts the ban on social gathering and distancing," he said.

Benjamin was happy with Okoth's performance and described him as a boxer whom one can hardly doubt his expertise and willingness to take instructions.

"Okoth is a quick learner and whatever he's advised over the phone, he executes with precision," said Benjamin, who guided Okoth to his Olympic qualification alongside national lightweight female champion Christine Ongare.

Ongare said she strictly followed the coaches instructions and is keen on leaving a mark in the Summer Games.

"Everything comes with a price, but I've been able to take up instructions from the coaches, albeit through the phone," Ongare said.

Okoth, who trains twice a day, in the morning and evening, begins with roadwork before turning to technical aspects in the afternoon. He then shadow-boxes for 30 minutes in the evening. 

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