NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – Kenya Defense Forces veteran lightweight Nick Okoth is overly excited to be back in the national team for the 2019 All African Games slated for Morocco.
Okoth, the only Olympian in the national team, said he hopes to win gold in the Morocco event which could be his last as he will have attained the maximum age of 40years which is the maximum age to fight in amateur ranks as stipulated by world governing body, AIBA competition rules.
The 36-year-old 2008 Beijing Olympian was among the 25 boxers picked after the conclusion of the third leg of the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) National League at Uwanja Wa Mbuzi Joho Stadium in Kongowea Mombasa.
Okoth said he is happy to be back in the team and this is what he had to say: “I am hoping to win gold in a bid to improve on the bronze I won in the Brazzaville All African Games. I hope to make it to the final team, and I will be working on my game well in time for the games,” he said.
Okoth a younger sibling of Kuala Lumpur 98 Commonwealth Games Absalom Okinyi, added that he feels much stronger ahead of the game,
He will fight it out with Ethan Maina of Police for a final team slot in the lightweight class.
Okoth’s biggest career achievement is a bronze medal at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games.
Also included in the team is Gold Coast Commonwealth bronze medalist Christine Ongare and Shaffi Bakari of Police who will be making back to back appearances at the games having been a member of the team in Brazzaville and so is light welterweight Victor Odhiambo of KDF.
Ongare became the first women in the history of Kenyan boxing to win a medal following her fairy tale performance in Gold Coast.
Bakari has since moved a berth up from light flyweight to flyweight after AIBA reduced men’s slots at the Olympic Games from 10 to 8 and increased women’s divisions from three to five.
Bakari, originally from Mombasa, earned the position after a walkover in the finals and said he is happy to retain the position in the team. He cruised to the semis after seeing off Thomas Kazungu of Siaya.
“I am happy to be back in the team. I will try my best to be in the medal bracket. My new weight (flyweight) allows me to prepare well for the 2020 Olympic Games as light flyweight will not be featuring on the new program, said Bakari.
Hezron Maganga of KDF and his counterpart Humphrey Ochieng aka Jakababa also made the team and will fight for the final light heavyweight slot.
BFK President urged all boxers to stay in focus ahead of the residential training that will be announced later.
“I know coaches have an uphill task to get the boxers in good shape as we wait for the residential training. I urge all boxers to train hard and ensure they are fit to tackle the games.” Jamal said.
Jamal added that officials of the team will be named in due course.
“We shall name the team manager and coach for the team in due course,” said Jamal.
The provisional team, currently with sparring partners, will be whittled down to a final team just before the Kenyan contingent departs to Morocco.
THIRD LEG BFK NATIONAL LEAGUE FINAL RESULTS
Stephen Otieno (Msa) lost to Musa So (Kentrack) RSC
L/fly- Abednego Kyalo (KDF) bt Martin Maina (Police) 3-0
Fly- Shaffi Bakari (Police) won via walkover
Ladies L/fly-Christine Ongare (Police) won via walkover
Ladies Fly-Flavian Auma (Busia) lost to Veronica Mbithe (KDF) 1-2
Ladies Bantam -Pauline Charge lost to Alice Waiyego (Nrb) 0-3
Bantam -Martin Oduor (Police) bt Dennis Muthama (KDF) 2-1
Lightweight -John Mwanzia (G44) lost to Ethan Maina (Police) RSC 2nd
Ladies Light -Beatrice Akoth (Nairobi) bt Teresia Wanjiru (Prisons)
Ladies L/welter- Evelyn Akinyi (Kisumu) bt Sharon Nyongesa (Trans Nzoia)
Ladies Welter -Lorna Kusa (Police) bt Morine Nawire (Busta)
Light welter-Stanley Ogutu (Kentrack) lost to Victor Odhiambo (KDF)
Welter -Christine Muremi (KDF) lost to Boniface Mugunde (Police)
Ladies Middle-Elizabeth Andiego (Kentrack) bt Lilian Achieng (Nairobi)
Ladies heavy -Elizabeth Akinyi (Police) – walkover
Middle -Edwin Okongo (KDF) lost to George Ouma (Police) 1-2
L/heavy-Hezron Maganga (KDF) bt Humphrey Ochieng Jakababa (Police)
Heavy -George Wanjulu (Busia) lost to Elly Ajowi (Police)
Super heavy Fredrick Ramogi (Police) won via walkover
All African Games team
Abednego Kyalo 49kg
Victor Odhiambo -64kg
Boniface Mugunde -69kg
Edwin Okongo -75kg
George Cosby -75kg
Humphrey Ochieng -81kg
Elly Ajowi -91kg
Fredrick Ramogi -91+KGU
Stanley Ogutu 64kg
Flavian Auma- 51kg
Evelyn Akinyi -64kg
Lorna Kusa -69kg
Elizabeth Andiego -75kg
Elizabeth Akinyi -75kg
Lilian Achieng -81kg