Bakari punches historic silver at African Games
Gilbert Kiprotich in Rabat, Morocco
Kenyan boxer Shaffi Hassan Bakari has won silver after losing 5-0 to Rajab Otukile of Botswana in the men’s flyweight (52kg) in the finals held Thursday at the Salle Al Amal arena here in Rabat.
Bakari had qualified for the finals Wednesday after he edged out Ethiopia’s Dawit Bekele 4-1 in the semi finals on Wednesday.
The Kenyan struggled with the Botswanian’s towering physique and would later have medical check up after the bout as he appeared to have sustained minor injury.
It is the third round that the Botswanian intensfied his punches that landed mercilessly on Bakari who at that time seemed to be struggling with an injury.
Otukile would thus win in an unanimous decision from all the five judges.
In a post match interview, Bakari revelaed that he had sustained an injury on his hand which hindered his performance today.
“I thank God for the silver medal it has not been an easy fight especially when I injured my left hand at the quarters but i will move on and prepare for the upcoming competitions,” said Bakari.
Hii sentimets were echoed by his ‘Hit Squad’ coach Benjamin Musa who says Bakari and the whole squad had done him proud at the continental championships.
“Bakari would have done much better were it not for the injury but we leave with our heads held high and resume our preparations of the Olympic Qualifiers,” said Musa.
Bakari becomes the only Kenyan boxer to win silver in the tournament after four of his compatriots Fredrick Ramogi, Elly Ajowi, Boniface Mogunde and George Ouma Cosby settled for bronze on Wednesday after they lost their respective bouts at the semi finals.