Kenya bemoans cancellation of Olympic boxing qualifiers


Namimbia's Matias Hamunyela (red) fights against Kenya's Shaffi Hassan (blue) during their men’s light ...
Namimbia's Matias Hamunyela (red) fights against Kenya's Shaffi Hassan (blue) during their men’s light fly (46-49kg) category preliminary fight during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at Oxenford Studios on the Gold Coast on April 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS

In Summary

  • Kenya national boxing team coach Musa Benjamin has slammed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to scrap the final boxing qualifying events that were scheduled to be held in Paris, France in June
  • The IOC’s boxing task recommended the cancellation owing to Covid-19 restrictions, leaving slots at the Tokyo 2020 Games likely to be determined by global rankings

Kenya national boxing team coach Musa Benjamin has slammed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to scrap the final boxing qualifying events that were scheduled to be held in Paris, France in June.

The IOC’s boxing task recommended the cancellation owing to Covid-19 restrictions, leaving slots at the Tokyo 2020 Games likely to be determined by global rankings.

The Kenya national boxing team ‘Hit-Squad’ of eleven pugilists had been training in readiness for the qualifiers and according to Musa this action will not be fare for the upcoming boxers.

“This will deprive young boxers who are not ranked a chance to go to the Olympics and this does not augur well with us. There are players who could qualify in that final qualifier in France by using their potential in the ring because they are not ranked but now they will miss out on that opportunity.” Musa said.

Kenya is hopeful of securing at least two slots in welterweight women’s category and men’s heavy weight through Elly Ajowi and Elizabeth Akinyi who finished third at the Africa qualifiers that was held in Senegal in February 2020 and coach Musa hopes the selection process will be fair.

Kenya qualified two boxers, Nick Okoth and Christine Ongare who earned automatic qualification to the Rio games after emerging victorious in their final bouts.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic games are expected to be held from 23rd of July upto 8th August 2021, one year after being postponed following the global outbreak of Corona Virus.

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Story By Mkalla Wa Mwambodze
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