Shock as African boxers fail to clinch Olympics ticket in Italy, including six Kenyans

BOXING Shock as African boxers fail to clinch Olympics ticket in Italy, including six Kenyans

Joel Omotto 18:23 - 12.03.2024

Six Kenyan boxers were among 65 African pugilists who all failed to claim an Olympics ticket at the World Qualification Tournament in Italy.

Six Kenyan boxers were among 65 from Africa who failed to nick an Olympic spot at the 1st World Qualification Tournament in Italy.

It was a poor outing for the African pugilists who sought a second crack at Olympics qualification via the torturous repchage after missing out from the African qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal last year.

None of the Kenyan boxers had made the cut in Dakar and tried their luck in Italy but just like their African peers, it proved difficult.

The six included Shaffi Bakari (featherweight) and Frizah Anyango (welterweight), flyweights Christine Ongare and Boniface Mogunde, Elizabeth Angiedo (middleweight) and David Karanja (flyweight).

The qualification tournament was being managed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with 50 tickets up for grabs to the Olympics from the 598 participants.

African boxers blamed their woes on ‘poor officiating’ once again with the African Boxing Confederation president Eyassu Berhanu promising to look into the matter.

“While the results may not have met our initial expectations, the dedication and sportsmanship displayed by our boxers have not gone unnoticed. This serves as an opportunity for national federations to further invest in our boxers, reinforcing their strengths, and addressing any technical weaknesses,” said Berhanu through a statement.

“We acknowledge the concerns raised regarding potential biased decisions, particularly in cases involving Pedros Gomes and Yusuf Changalawe. We are committed to conducting a thorough review, working closely with relevant authorities to ensure fairness in future competitions.

“The journey to the Olympics is indeed challenging, and our boxers have demonstrated remarkable resilience. Despite the setbacks faced in Italy, I encourage them to maintain their focus and prepare for the upcoming 2nd World Olympic Qualifiers in Bangkok, Thailand. This presents a renewed opportunity, and we firmly believe in the talent and determination of our athletes to secure spots for the Paris Olympics.”

From the 50 tickets secured in Italy, Europe took the lion’s share by qualifying 24 boxers to the Olympics, 17 going to Asia while America claimed eight.

The defeat means Kenya will not have boxers at the Olympics, a major setback, given the sport had been the other besides athletics to have won the country a medal at the Games.

Follow Pulse Sports WhatsApp channel for more news.