Okoth bows out of Tokyo Olympics

The 2015 Africa Boxing Championships lightweight (60kg) gold medalist Nick ‘Commander’ Okoth was eliminated from Tokyo Olympics after a 2-3 loss against Erdenebat Tsendbaatar in their Men’s Featherweight Round of 32 Preliminaries contest

The Mongolian won by a split decision of 3-2, after wining the first and the third sets 3-2, while Okoth edged him in the second round, also 3-2.

The hit Squad captain who is among the 28 best boxers rated globally in that weight category was aiming to finish within the medal bracket in the Summer Games, after being voted the sixth best featherweight boxer after amassing 350 points.

Erdenebat, an orthodox boxer, was ranked fifth at the Rio Olympics in the bantamweight and the Masters in International Sports is no pushover, and is  a possible cruise into the medals bracket.

“The 24 year old is a very experienced fighter and Nick needs to bring his ‘A’ game because should he go through, then he has a clear shot at the quarters and semis,” boxing team manager Duncan “Sugar Ray” Kuria remarked.

Okoth “Commander” is 14 years Erdenebat’s senior and experience was expected to play to the Kenya Defence Forces fighter’s advantage,something that failed to pass.

Second in action for Kenya on Sunday morning at 11.15am local time (5.15am Kenyan time) is Christine Ongare in the flyweight (48-51kg) who comes up against Irish Magno of the Philipines.

“We don’t know the opponent too well but we expect a competitive fight,” Kuria noted.

The 29-year-old Manila-based Magno is a student in criminology at the University of Baguio back home and is an orthodox fighter ranked ninth at the 2018 Asian Games.

Heavyweight Elly Ajowi (81-91) and welterweight (64-69kg) Elizabeth Akinyi have both received byes in the opening round and will come up against Cuba’s Julio la Cruz and Alcinda Helena Panguana of Mozambique, respectively, in the second round.


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