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Team Kenya captain Nick Okoth seals Olympics slot

Wednesday February 26 2020
By AYUMBA AYODI

Kenya’s Nick “Commander” Okoth will be returning to the Olympics after 12 year-hiatus.

Okoth, whose last appearance in the Olympics was during the 2008 Beijing Games, booked his ticket to this year's Tokyo Olympics after winning his semi-final featherweight bout against Ugandan Isaac Masembe at the ongoing Africa qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.

The Team Kenya captain, edged out Masembe in a 4-1 decision to qualify for the final. Okoth, who turns 37 next month, triumphed 28-29, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28 to make his second appearance at the Olympics since 2008, having won the Africa qualifier.

Okoth will now face Zambian Everisto Mulenga in the final on Saturday. Mulenga also edged out Samuel Takyi from Ghana in a 4-1 decision in the other semi-final.

However, Masembe and Takyi still have another chance when they meet in the box-off on Friday ahead of the explosive Okoth and Mulenga’s final.

Kenya also has another chance to qualify one more boxer with Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Christine Ongare meeting Uganda’s Catherine Nanziri in the flyweight box-off on Friday.

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Ongare, 26, suffered a unanimous decision to Rabab Cheddar from Morocco in their semi-final clash.

However, Ongare, 26, still has a last chance where she will meet Uganda’s Catherine Nanziri in the box-off for third place on Friday.

Nanziri lost her bout against top seed Boualam Roumaysa from Algeria after the referee stopped the bout in the first round to rescue the Ugandan.

Cheddar and Roumaysa will now face-off in the final on Saturday.

Other Kenyan boxers Elizabeth Akinyi and Elly Ajowi had earlier seen their hopes of making to Tokyo go up in smoke after they lost their semi-final bots.

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