Andiego leads boxers in Paris Olympic qualifiers

Nelson Mandela Cup middleweight gold medallist Elizabeth Andiego (right) in action. [File]

After winning a gold medal at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Cup in South Africa last month, team captain Elizabeth Andiego is ready for another big assignment.

The epic task ahead is the second leg of World Olympic qualifiers to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from May 24 to June 2.

Her focus is to qualify for the Paris Olympics after missing the middleweight ticket during the previous World Olympic qualifiers in Senegal and Italy.

“I need a third Olympic ticket and I have to achieve it in Thailand and it’s the reason we are here for the workouts,” she told Standard Sports at their training venue at Mathare Police Depot, Nairobi where the team has been training for the past two weeks.

Africa Olympic qualifiers were held at Dakar Sporting Arena from September 9-24 last year and the first leg of global qualifiers in Busto Arsizio, Italy from March 3-11 this year.

Andiego is among boxers who have been training under a panel of seven coaches led by head coach Musa Benjamin with an aim of being selected into the final squad that will head to Thailand on May 20.

“We are at it again to see if we can snatch Olympic tickets in Thailand. We are ready for the epic task ahead of us. I’m ready to do better than what I did at 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” added Andiego.

Head coach Benjamin said the boxers are in good shape to improve on their fitness before the final squad is named today.

“We have brought in seven coaches to help us pick the right squad. Our urge is to see our boxers qualify for the games as had been our past tradition,” Benjamin said.

He said he expects to send a team of 12 boxers - seven male and five female athletes to Thailand.

However, that will depend on the slots awarded by the government on the week-long trip.

”Our wish is to have a team of 12 boxers – seven men and five ladies in Thailand. But that will depend on the support we get from the government,” he said.

While warning boxers who featured in the first global qualifiers not to expect special treatment, he said all slots are up for grabs.

By Ernest Ndunda 58 mins ago
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