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Stricken Andiego eyes Rio comeback

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ANDIEGO-KNH]NAIROBI, April 16 – Kenya’s pioneering Olympics female boxer, Elizabeth Andiego is hopeful she will get back on her feet and compete at 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Adiego is admitted at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital after undergoing successful surgery on her left leg following Monday night’s accident involving a motorbike and hit and run cab on her way from the gym along Kangundo Road.

At the same time, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture, Dr. Hassan Wario, said the ministry was aware of her plight and, “We will see what we shall do about her.”

The mother of a 10-year old son told Capital Sport from her hospital bed, the accident was a double tragedy since they were preparing for his brother’s funeral after he passed away last week in Nairobi.

Andiego who represented the country at 2012 London Olympics and at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the middleweight division, called on the Ministry, Boxing Association of Kenya and well wishers to come to her aid financially since she cannot afford to cater for her boy’s need as well as hospital bills.

-Dragged back-

“This accident has dragged me behind because I can’t do anything. I pray to God by 2016 I will be back on my feet because I had started my preparation for the Olympics. I feel very bad to be in this state but I’m confident God will give me strength to go back to the ring. I tell my fans not to lose hope on me because where I’ve come from is far so I will recover slowly.

“So far it has cost me a lot because I’m a single parent and the young boy depends on me and now that I’m here (hospital) it’s very hard for him. My friend, Laventer Oguta is running up and down to ensure we get the pay bill number by Friday so that I can see if I will get assistance,” Andiego who was in considerable pain lamented.

“The operation went well though it took long but the doctors told me I will be okay, the major injury was on my left leg that broke, in two days time I will be back to theatre for assessment then I will know how long it will take for me to heal,” she added.

Andiego’s sad case comes three years after former world middleweight champion and Kenya’s most eminent female boxer, Conjestina Achieng suffered mental illness and the Olympian made an impassionate plea to raise the standards of the sport to ensure it pays well.

“I call upon the ministry to take care of boxers because they never follow up on us when we finish competition, they forget about us completely at least if there is a follow up and something like this has come up then one can know he or she is in safe hands.

“I’ve not seen anyone from the ministry yet or heard about them but from the boxing federation of Kenya, the president, John Kameta called me and said he will follow up on the matter,” Andiego who grew up from a humble background in Nairobi’s Eastlands urged.

“Women have not been given equal rights in boxing because there is a men’s league that is going on but there is no women’s league and when it comes to employment many women are not considered and that what pulls many ladies away from the game,” she explained.

She was set to contest for a slot that would lead to the Olympics, All Africa Games in Brazzaville in September and the Senior Africa Boxing Championship during the Boxing Association of Kenya national selection event in Nairobi on April 22-26.

At the London Olympics, Andiego was defeated in the first round while at Club Games she bowed out at the round of 16.

Speaking on Friday, CS Wario who had been contacted earlier by Capital Sport offered the bureaucratic response of “looking into the matter” as the bills continue to escalate.

Andiego lay on a stretcher hours after being wheeled into KNH until she was eventually assisted to the theatre past midnight Wednesday.

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