NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – National boxing team head coach Benjamin Musa is confident the country will add more boxers to its Tokyo Olympics bound contingent as they prepare for next year’s repechage qualifiers in France.
From the African qualifiers held in Senegal early in the year, only skipper Nick Okoth and Christine Ongare booked tickets to Tokyo, while the rest will now have to try their luck in the trickier world repechage qualifiers.
“Looking at how well we have been training for the past one month, I believe we will have more boxers in Tokyo. We are doing all we can as coaches and the Federation has also been giving us good support,” coach Musa explains.
The Hit Squad team has just recently resumed training following a long shutdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been working out at the AV Fitness Centre in Lavington after being given the go ahead to commence non-contact training.
“This has been a very tough period because we are living in abnormal times. As a Federation, we decided to start training early because if we are to perform well in France, then we need to be very ready.”
“We are training while observing the health protocols and though we have not started yet with contact, we are doing other things to ensure we are fit. We are concentrating on strength and conditioning as well as cardio and by the end of the year, we will see the fruits,” the coach further stated.
The team has also been working with National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) strength and conditioning consultant Geoffrey Kimani to help them sharpen their fitness.
Meanwhile, Musa says Kenya will send boxers to the annual Bingwa wa Mabingwa tournament in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania next month as part of preparation towards the repechage qualification.
Musa says the tournament will help the boxers get off the ground after almost nine months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This will be important for us if we want to do well in France. We have not been in the ring competitively since February and the boxers need something to get them off the ground. This will also be an exposure of sorts for them,” Musa told Capital Sport.
The tournament has been scheduled for December 4-9 and will also include boxers from host nation Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Zambia, Botswana and Rwanda.