Kenya's African Games Teams Step Up Training

Kenya's boxing squad for the 12th Africa Games set for Rabat, Morocco from August 19 to 31 has launched a busy schedule at Kasarani, ready for departure to Morocco on August 15.

Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) secretary, David Munuhe, who is one of the coaches working with the squad Monday said there's hardly any time to rest for the boxers in camp.

"Our day starts between 5am and 6am when we take the team for roadwork. We take our breakfast around 7am after which we take a break till 10am, when we go for gym work. The boxers do sparring from 4pm to 5pm," he explained.

Kenya's squad of eight male and four female pugilists includes flyweight Shaffi Bakari (Kenya Police), who won a bronze medal in the 2017 Africa Championship in Congo Brazzaville, and veteran boxer featherweight Nick Okoth, a gold medallist in the same tournament. Middleweight Elizabeth Andiego who competed in the 2012 London Olympics is also in the team.

Kenya will be represented in 22 disciplines in Morocco namely athletics, archery, badminton, basketball (3-on-3), boxing, canoe kayak and rowing.

Others are chess, cycling, handball, judo, karate, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, weight lifting and wrestling.

In the last African Games, Kenya bagged 32 medals with six gold, nine silver and 17 bronze.

"The Ministry of Sport, through the Sports Fund, has facilitated the entering of a 290-strong contingent into the games who, together with 86 training partners have pitched camp at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, and other training venues in its environs," executive officer Charles Nyaberi said on Monday.

"The beach volleyball and swimming teams are training in Mombasa. Half of the Kenya contingent has already reported for residential training at Kasarani."

Meanwhile, Munuhe said a few male and female boxers are in the camp as sparring partners for the squad.

"We have a few male and female boxers in the camp as sparring partners for the squad. All the boxers are fit and rearing to go and we are so far very lucky as we do not have any injuries."

Before they moved to Kasarani, the boxers were training at the Kenya Police Deport, Mathare.

In Morocco the boxers have a Herculean task as they try to improve on the eight gold medals record Kenya set during the 1987 All Africa Games in Nairobi. The gold medallists included the late Robert Wangila, who won Kenya and Africa her first Olympics gold medal in the welterweight division during the 1988 Seoul Games.

Squad

Men: flyweight Shaffi Bakari (Police); featherweight Nick Okoth (KDF); lightweight Ethan Maina (Police); welterweight Boniface Mugunde (Police); middleweight George Ouma (Police); light heavyweight Edwin Okonga (KDF); heavyweight Elly Ajowi (Police) and super heavyweight Fredrick Ramogi (KDF)

Women: flyweight Christine Ongwae (Police); lightweight Everly Akinyi (Kisunu); welterweight Lorna Kusa (Police) and Elizabeth Andiego (Nairobi)

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