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Boxer Andiego added to Olympics squad

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 20- Team Kenya for London Olympics got a major boost after female boxer Elizabeth Andiego was cleared to participate at the event.

The development announced on Wednesday by National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) CEO Stephen Soi means that Andiego will now join flyweight Ben Gicharu in the quest for a medal in the discipline.

“We just received the news that AIBA had reviewed the judges ruling of her last bout against Norwegian Lien Lotte at the Women’s World Boxing Championships in China and awarded it to Andiego which grants her qualification for London

“This is good news for us and she will now join Gicharu for rigorous training in Cardiff from July 5 ahead of the Games in London,” revealed Soi at a press briefing.

Andiego was among the country’s six boxers who were participating at the AIBA championships held last month in Qinhuangdao but lost by three points to Lotte in the middleweight category.

This will be the first time in history that a Kenyan female boxer will compete at the Olympic Games as Kenya widens its medal prospect to the discipline alongside Gicharu who was the only winner in Casablanca, Morocco during the men Africa Boxing Championships.

“It’s good that we will have one more Olympian who isn’t an athlete, but more so for the growth of the sport since the debacle that saw us take fewer boxers at the qualifiers due to the wrangling witnessed at the federation,

“We only now have to put in place structures to ensure that we take more in the next edition since it’s clear we have the talent within us,” said an elated NOCK Chairman Kipchoge Keino of Andiego who was earlier this year in Cardiff for training ahead of the Olympics qualifiers.

The other six pugilists were welterweight Dury Wanjiku, flyweight Christine Ongare, bantamweight Ruth Odongo, featherweight boxer Rebah Matandaall and lightweight Mary Ng’ang’a who lost their respective bouts at the qualifiers.

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Keino and Soi were speaking during the handing over of a Sh 2m sponsorship by the National Bank of Kenya for the final lap of the national athletics Olympics trials scheduled for Thursday and Saturday at the Nyayo stadium.

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