Kenya: Ajowi, Okoth Pick Bronze Medals in Russia Tourney

National champions Nick "Commander" Okoth (featherweight) and Elly Ajowi (super heavyweight) have settled for bronze at Konstantin Kototkov Memorial boxing tournament that ended on Saturday in Khabarovsk, Russia.

Okoth lost to home boxer Ovik Oganisyan in a unanimous 5-0 decision in the semi-finals on Friday as Ajowi, the Africa Zone Three champion, also went down to Madiyar Saidrahimov from Uzbekistan in the semis in a similar decision.

Oganisyan would eventually win gold after beating Umid Rystamov from Azerbaijan in a 4-1 decision in the final. Rystamov had bundled out Japanese Tomo Tsuboi in the semi-final.

But after silencing Kenya's Ajowi, Saidrahimov found the going tough against home boxer Aleksey Zobin to lose in a unanimous points decision. Zobin beat Moroccan Younes Baalla in the semis.

The performance saw Kenya finish 11th with two bronze medals. The host nation was ranked top after collecting 19 medals; six gold, four silver and nine bronze.

Kenya and Morocco were the only countries from Africa at the event.

Morocco picked two medals, silver and bronze.

Uzbekistan finished second with eight medals; four gold, one silver and three bronze followed by Japan with 12 medals; three gold, four silver and five bronze medals.

"It was a good outing for me ahead of the Tokyo Games," said Ajowi.

"However, I need to work on my footwork and guard."

Other Kenyan boxers Commonwealth flyweight bronze medalist Christine Ongáre and national bantamweight champion Elizabeth Akinyi lost in the first round of their respective bouts earlier on in the week.

The Kenyan quartet is preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games due July 23 to August 8 this year.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) organised the championships as preparations for Tokyo Olympic-bound boxers.

Kenyan government and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) facilitated the trip.

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