NAIROBI, August 13 – Kenya’s prospects for an Olympic medal in boxing ended Wednesday after the remaining member of the four-man ‘Hit Squad’, Suleiman Bilali lost his Light Flyweight match to Montero Winston of the Dominican Republic.
Bilali had aimed to move further than the quarter-final place he had reached at the 2000 Olympics Games in Sydney, Australia.
The current Africa Lightweight champion Bilali, was tipped as the best hope for Kenya considering his pedigree with a talent that runs through his family.
His famous elder brother Ibrahim "Surf" Bilali won a flyweight bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles while his cousin, Steve Muchoki, struck gold at the 1978 World Championships in Belgrade.
On Tuesday, Kenya’s Bernard Ngumba was outclassed in his flyweight outing by Uzbekistan’s Tulashboy Doniyorov out pointing him 10-1 in one of the most one-sided bouts of the Olympics so far.
It was the same story for Nick Okoth who lost to Mexican Arturo Santos Reyes in their featherweight boxing fight, while Aziz Ali lost to Turkey’s Muzzafer Bahram on Saturday light heavy weight.
Jason Dunford setting his sights to his favourite butterfly race after winning his heat Tuesday in the 100m freestyle but failing to qualify for the semis.
Ranked 10th worldwide in the 100m butterfly and sixth at these games, Jason will take the plunge in the competition Thursday, the same day that his younger brother David will start his 50m free style campaign.
Friday begins Kenya’s favourite medal hunting quest after the arrival of 24 more athletes and officials at the Olympic Village on Tuesday. Among them world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba who flew in from the United States where she has been holed up in training for the 42-kilometre race, which will be held on the streets of the Chinese capital this Sunday.
The athletics program begins on Friday with the Kenya lining up its best women’s 10,000m team.