Okwiri returns as BFK names squad for Olympic qualifiers

Wednesday March 18 2020
andiego_pix

Elizabeth Andiego takes part in a training session with the national boxing team at the Nanyuki Social Hall on February 9, 2020. PHOTO | POOL |

By AYUMBA AYODI

There were no major surprises on Friday as the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) named a final men and women’s squad of 13 boxers for the Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due February 20-29 in Dakar, Senegal.

Perhaps the only noticeable pick was that of former Africa champion Rayton “Boom Boom” Okwiri, who donned his amateur boxing gloves back from the paid ranks to earn the node in the middleweight category.

African Games bronze medallist George Cosby and Edwin Okong’o, who have been training with the team for almost a month now, were overlooked to accommodate Okwiri's return.

Okwiri had gone on to win the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) title in the professional ranks but opted to return to the amateur ranks for the Summer Games thanks to the change in the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) rules that allowed professionals to compete at the Olympics.

Okwiri is one of the three boxers who represented Kenya at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

While naming the squad at the Nanyuki Social Hall, BFK director of communications, Duncan “Sugar Ray” Kuria handed the team’s armband back to featherweight boxer Nick Okoth, who will be deputised by Elizabeth Andiego.

Also in the team is the African Games silver medallist Shaffi Bakari (flyweight) and African Games bronze medallist Boniface Mogunde (welterweight).

Others dropped were David Karanja (flyweight), Victor Odhiambo (Lightweight), Martin Oduor (featherweight) and John Wasike (heavyweight).

Team:

Men
Flyweight: Shaffi Bakari

Featherweight: Martin Oduor, Nick Okoth

Lightweight: Joseph Shigali

Welterweight: Boniface Mogunde

Middleweight: Rayton Okwiri

Light heavyweight: Humphrey Ochieng

Heavyweight: Elly Ajowi

Super Heavyweight: Fredrick Ramogi

Women

Flyweight: Christine Ongare

Featherweight: Beatrice Akoth

Lightweight: Everline Akinyi

Welterweight: Elizabeth Akinyi

Middleweight: Elizabeth Andiego