Kenya: Boxer Elly Ajowi Closes in On Olympics Slot

25 February 2020

African Games bronze medallist Elly Ajowi from Kenya is a win away from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ajowi outpunched another Congolese Maroy Sadiki in a split decision (28-29, 28-29, 30-27, 30-27, and 30-27) to reach the semi-finals of their heavyweight contest on Tuesday at the ongoing Africa boxing qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.

The 37-year-old Ajowi will take on African Games silver medallist Youness Balla from Morocco in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Ajowi dominated the first round in keeping Sadiki at the end of his punches before winning the round 4-1 (10-9, 9-10, 10-9, 10-9) and went on take the second round 3-2 (9-10, 9-10, 10-9, 10-9, 10-9).

Another Kenyan, Commonwealth games bronze medallist Christine Ongare, 26, also qualified for the semi-finals after she dispatched Congolese Zalia Munga. Ongare meets Rabab Chedder from Morocco in the semis Wednesday.

Three more Kenyan boxers were to take the ring Tuesday night.

Team Kenya skipper Nick Okoth, who kept his dream of attending another Olympics alive, will meet Manuel Pedro Gomes from Angola in welterweight quarterfinals.

Fredrick Ramogi will tackle Ahmed Bourous from Morocco in super heavyweight quarterfinals with Everline Akinyi slugging Ivorian Mariam Siobe in women's lightweight quarterfinals.

Okoth overcome two points deduction to claim a split decision over Mostafa Mohamed Komsan, of Egypt in welterweight 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 Beijing.

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