‘Hit Squad’ coach Musa bullish as charges bid to punch Olympics ticket
Kenya is set to launch its quest for the Tokyo Olympics boxing tickets when 13 boxers take to the ring in Senegal’s capital Dakar. When the first punch is thrown on Thursday, eight men and five ladies carrying the country’s dream will be hoping to grab the maximum number of the 37 slots reserved for the continent in the multi sporting extravaganza set to run from July 24 to August 9.
And ahead of the looming test, purring ‘Hit Squad’ head coach Musa Benjamin has described the 13 pugilists as ‘punching machines’ promising they will not slow down on their preparations, having landed in the West African nation on Sunday with the remaining batch of six touching down yesterday.
“I’m very happy because we now have the full squad here and we can be able to get on with our training from where we left off. It’s straight to business as we plan to go back to our pre-competition programme where we are going to lay emphasis on speed work, movement and defensive techniques.
“Right now the boxers have transformed into punching machines and come Thursday, we believe we shall be able to start powerfully,”he charged.
Kenya was only represented by three boxers in the 2016 Rio Olympics and Musa is hopeful that the team can add more numbers to the Rio travel party.
“Our target is to take at least five boxers to Tokyo,” he added.
Meanwhile Welterweight boxer Boniface Mogunde who clinched bronze in the All African Games in Rabat Morocco believes he is capable of fulfilling his dream of participating in the Olympics
“The training we had in Kenya was top notch and coming here for the competitions, we are focused and raring to go. Personally my prayer is that I’ll be able to attain qualification because that has been my dream.
“I believe God has witnessed how much I have prepared and I am confident of making it,”he enthused.
Once the qualifiers are done and dusted, 286 boxers drawn from the four continental and World qualification tournament events will travel to Japan where eight men and five women are set to be crowned Olympic champions.
HIT SQUAD OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS TEAM
Feather Weight:Nick Okoth (Captain).
Fly Weight. Shafi Bakari.
Light Weight: Joseph Shigali.
Welter Weight: Boniface Mogunde.
Middle Weight: Rayton Okwiri.
Light Heavy: Humphrey Ochieng
Heavy Weight: Elly Ajowi
Super Heavy: Fred Ramogi
Fly Weight: Christine Ongare
Feather Weight: Beatrice Akoth
Light Weight: Everline Akinyi
Welter Weight: Elizabeth Akinyi
Middle Weight: Elizabeth Andiego.