Kenyan Boxer Ongare Storms Semis in Olympics Qualifiers

25 February 2020

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Christine Ongare is through to the semi-finals of the women's flyweight category at the ongoing Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 26-year-old knocked down Zalia Munga from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the second round before claiming a unanimous decision of 30-27, 30-25, 30-26, 30-27 and 29-28 on Tuesday.

Ongare became the second Kenyan to qualify for the semi-finals after Elizabeth Akinyi in the welterweight category on Monday.

Both fighters went into the first round with furious exchange but it's the Kenyan, who had an edge to score 4-1(10-9, 10-9, 10-9, 10-9n 9-10). Some swift combinations from Ongare sent Munga to the canvass before receiving eight counts. Ongare won the round 5-0 after cracking 10-9.

Ongare took in from Munga, but responded with more as the Kenyan, who honed her skills at Kentrack Club, but is now Kenya Police Service, triumphed. Munga is the African Games bronze medallist.

Ongare, who embraced boxing back in 2011 in Nairobi's Kariobangi Estate, is now one win away from making it to the Tokyo Summer Games.

Ongare will meet Rabab Chedder from Morocco in the semi-finals on Wednesday. Cheddar outclassed Agerie Bayew from Ethiopia in a unanimous decision in the other quarterfinal bout.

Four more Kenyan boxers were to take the ring later Tuesday. Team Kenya skipper Nick Okoth, who kept his dream of attending another Olympics alive, will meet Manuel Pedro Gomes from Angola in welterweight quarterfinals.

Elly Ajowi will be up against Maroy Sadiki from the Democratic Republic of Congo in heavyweight quarterfinals, while Fredrick Ramogi will tackle Ahmed Bourous from Morocco in super heavyweight quarterfinals.

Everline Akinyi will slug it out Ivorian Mariam Siobe in women's lightweight quarterfinals.

Okoth overcame a two points deduction to claim a split decision over Mostafa Mohamed Komsan of Egypt in the welterweight division on Monday night.

Okoth's compatriot, Boniface Mogunde wasn't so lucky after he was knocked out by Mengue Ayissi from Cameroon in the first round of their welterweight contest.

A loose-fitting gum shield was the cause of most of Okoth's woes, but he finished the bout battering the Komsan against the ropes to make it through to the quarterfinals.

"It wouldn't have been a split decision were it not for my mouth guard that kept coming off," said Okoth, who last attended the Summer Games in 2008 in Beijing.

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