The millions Kenyan boxers will miss out on after failure to qualify for Olympics

Kenya's Elizabeth Andiego during the Paris Olympics qualifiers.

The millions Kenyan boxers will miss out on after failure to qualify for Olympics

Joel Omotto 08:00 - 01.06.2024

Kenyan boxers will miss out of on big bucks following their failure to secure Olympics qualification with International Boxing Association set to start offering cash prizes at Paris Games.

Kenyan boxers will be among many others who will miss out on bumper cash rewards following their elimination from the Olympics qualifiers.

Six Kenyan boxers in Eliud Okong’o (light heavyweight), Boniface Mogunde (light middleweight) newcomer Pater Abuti (heavyweight), Amina Martha (bantamweight), Frizah Anyango (welterweight) and Elizabeth Andiego (middleweight) suffered early elimination at the final qualification tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

Having failed to clinch their tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics at the African qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal last September and at the repechage in Milan, Italy in March, Bangkok was the final shot for the Kenyans but still met their waterloo.

It means Kenya will not have a representative at the Olympics for the first time since 1992 when the scoring system as introduced at the Barcelona Games, an all-time low for the country given boxing is the only other sport to have won an Olympics medal, even if that was in 1988.

Qualifying for the Paris Games would have come with added incentives as for the first time in the Games’ history, there will be prize money for the top five boxers in each category.

International Boxing Association (IBA) made the bold division to pay prize money to boxing Olympians based on their Paris 2024 placings, joining World Athletics in rewarding medallists at the Games.

“The Olympics will serve as a qualifying round for the finalists who will earn the right to compete for the IBA World Champion title, with a prize fund of over $13,000,000 (Ksh1.7 billion) for 13 main weight categories, of which seven are men’s and six are women’s,” IBA president Umar Kremlev said this week.

Of the $13 million (Ksh1.7 billion), boxing gold medallists in Paris will receive $100,000 (Ksh13 million) of which the athlete will take home $50,000 (ksh6.5 million), their national federation getting $25,000 (Ksh3.25 million), and their coach receiving a similar amount.

For a silver medal, $50,000 (Ksh6.5 million) prize money will be awarded, with the athlete receiving $25,000 (Ksh3.25 million), and the remaining $25,000 being distributed evenly between the coach and the national federation.

For a bronze medal, IBA will provide $25,000 (Ksh3.25 million), of which $12,500 (Ksh1.62 million) will go to the athlete, and $12,500 will again be distributed evenly.

Additionally, boxers who lost in the quarter-finals and finished fifth, will each receive $10,000 (Ksh1.3 million) from IBA.

While Kenyan boxers stood little chance of winning a medal, being in Paris would have given them an opportunity to contest for at least the top five positions.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.