Andiego eyes Olympics slot after victory at Nelson Mandela Cup

Middleweight boxer Elizabeth Andiego during the team's training session at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.[Stafford Ondego,Standard]

Africa Zone Three champion Elizabeth Andiego is the new Nelson Mandela Cup middleweight gold medallist.

Andiego added another trophy to her cabinet after she defeated Mozambique's two time Africa champion Rady Adosalinda Gramane on unanimous points decision in the middleweight finals in a tough match at Durban International Convention Centre in South Africa on Sunday night.

Andiego was elated with the victory saying it had increased her momentum in her quest to secure her third Olympics participation, the last one being at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

“I’m very happy for this victory and I want to build on this momentum to prepare for the second leg of the World Olympic Qualifiers after I failed to secure the Paris Olympics ticket in the first leg in Italy and at the Africa Olympic Qualifiers in Senegal last year,” Andiego told Standard Sports from Durban.

It was a big relieve for head coach Musa Benjamin who fought hammer and tongs to ensure the regional champion secured the gold medal to enhance her chances of trying her luck again for Paris Olympics Qualification at the second leg of the World Olympic Qualifiers in Bangkok, Thailand from May 25 to June 2.

“It was a tough match but Andiego did it according to my instructions and we are happy she came out victorious as we look forward for her participation in the next international assignments,” Benjamin said.

Andiego earned a direct ticket to the finals from the event’s organisers following few entrants in the middleweight division whereby it only attracted three boxers from Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa.

On her part, Adosalinda Gramane overcome Geane Dicks of South Africa in another pulsating semifinal match.

International Boxing Association gave out USD500,000 as prize money for boxers who reached the medal bracket in the weeklong competition.

Kenya had sent two boxers to the event in Andiego and national welterweight champion Frazer Anyango who boxes for Kenya Defence Forces in the National Boxing League.

Anyango was beaten by Africa welterweight champion Ivanusa Moreira of Cape Verde on unanimous points decision in the quarterfinals.

“These are matches that shape us on the next continental and global assignments,” Anyango had said after the loss.

A total of 157 boxers from 24 countries are taking part in the tournament with 56 female and 101 male boxers in attendance.

The Kenyan boxers were expected to jet back from South Africa last night.

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