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Kenyan boxer enters semis in Olympics qualifiers

Monday February 24 2020

Kenya women’s boxing team welterweight Elizabeth Akinyi training in Nairobi on July 30, 2019. She stormed into the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympic Games Africa qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal on February 24, 2020. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya women’s boxing team welterweight Elizabeth Akinyi training in Nairobi on July 30, 2019. She stormed into the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympic Games Africa qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal on February 24, 2020. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AYUMBA AYODI
By AYUMBA AYODI
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Elizabeth Akinyi is the first Kenyan boxer to reach the semi-finals of the ongoing Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Akinyi, 26, who is making her debut on the international scene, staged an inspiring and breathtaking rally following a slow first round to outclass Ghanaian Asuman Faruza on unanimous points decision in their welterweight bout on Monday.

However, her compatriots deputy skipper Elizabeth Andiego in middleweight and light heavyweight Humphrey Ochieng were all eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Late Sunday, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Christine Ongare edged out Omella Havyarimana from Burundi to reach the quarter-finals.

Faruza started off strongly with straight punches earning a 10-9 score from each of the five judges.

Akinyi, who boxes for Kenya Police, hit back in the second round with some punishing jabs to also earn a score of 10-9 from all judges.

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Akinyi remained aggressive in the final to land clean punches. The Kenyan had done enough to score a unanimous 29-28 and advance to the semi-finals.

Akinyi will now meet top seeded Moroccan Oumayma Bel Ahbib in the semi-finals on Wednesday. Ahbib outclassed Bernadette Keuye from Cameroon in a unanimous points decision to set up a clash with Akinyi.

Andiego, who was eying a second return to the Summer Games after her debut in London 2012, lost to second seeded Rady Gramane from Mozambique on split-points decision.

Ochieng lost to Mohammed Assaghir from Morocco in a 4-1 decision in their light heavyweight bout. Assaghir will now take on third seeded Peter Kabeji from Congo in the quarter-finals Tuesday.

Ongare will face second seeded Modestine Munga from Congo for a place in the semi-finals also Tuesday.

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