National men and women’s boxing teams moved to a high altitude training camp in Nanyuki on Sunday as the technical bench whittled down the team ahead of the Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Senegal.
Head coach Benjamin Musa disclosed that they have dropped six boxers from the training squad of 25 for two weeks of training in Nanyuki.
The team that will put up at Nanyuki Social Hall, leaves the country between February 15-17 for the qualifier that starts on February 20 to 29 in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
While 27 boxers; 18 men and nine women were called up for the preparations that started three weeks ago in Nairobi, two -super heavyweight Tobias Okeyo and lightweight Azaad Nazir were dropped immediately for various reasons.
Then Ethan Maina (lightweight) and Hezron Maganga (light heavyweight) would be axed from the men’s team before the Nanyuki trip.
Those who failed to make in the women’s team for Nanyuki camp are Lorna Kusa (welterweight), Anne Stacy Ayoma (lightweight) and Veronica Mbithe and Ann Wanjiru (flyweight).
Musa headed to Nanyuki with 18 pugilists from where the final squad of 13- eight men and five women- will be picked.
Musa said the Nanyuki altitude training will be crucial and centred on several things including punching strategy, defensive techniques and ring movement input.
“Our sessions in Nairobi were basically strength and conditioning coupled with different techniques," said Musa.
“We know move top centralized sessions where we want the boxers top embrace striking variations.”
Musa emphasised that at the end of it the boxers must punch harder, faster with precision.
“We would love to see the boxers glide across the right with ease and purpose,” said Musa, warning that they will only take quality to Dakar.
Musa said that he is looking forward to put at least seven boxers in both men and women’s teams through to Tokyo Olympics.
Kenya was represented by three boxers at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games; Peter Mungai Warui (light flyweight), Benson Gicharu (Bantamweight) and Rayton Okwiri (welterweight).
The mood in training has been ecstatic as boxers promised to put their best foot and jab forward during the qualifiers.
Among them are Team Kenya captain for 2019 African Games Nick Okoth (Featherweight), who participated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Elizabeth Andiego (middleweight), who graced the 2012 London Olympic and Africa Games silver medallist Shaffi Bakari (flyweight).
Flyweight: Shaffi Bakari, David Karanja
Featherweight: Martin Oduor, Nick Okoth
Lightweight: Joseph Shigali, Victor Odhiambo
Welterweight: Boniface Mogunde
Middleweight: Rayton Okwiri, George Cosby, Edwin Okongó
Light heavyweight: Humphrey Ochieng
Heavyweight: Elly Ajowi, Joshua Wasike
Super Heavyweight: Fredrick Ramogi,
Flyweight: Christine Ongare
Featherweight: Beatrice Akoth
Lightweight: Everline Akinyi
Welterweight: Elizabeth Akinyi
Middleweight: Elizabeth Andiego,