Boxing legend, Nick Okoth gets eliminated from Tokyo Olympics

Disappointing start for Team Kenya

Kenya's Nicholas Okongo Okoth and Mongolia's Tsendbaatar Erdenebat fight during their men's feather (52-57kg) preliminaries boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Frank Franklin II / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRANK FRANKLIN II/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Kenya's Nick Okoth’s was eliminated from the Tokyo Olympics after a narrow loss to Mongolian Erdenebat Tsendbaatar in their round of 32 featherwight duel on Saturday afternoon.

Okoth who is captain of the boxing team lost on a split decision on points, scoring 3-2 in a duel that was too close to call.

In a cagy opening round the Mongolian managed to pick the most spots and score more points, earning a maximum score from three judges while two gave Okoth the maximum score of 10.

In the second round, Okoth, nicknamed 'Commando' bounced back from the slow start and used his strong right hand jab with his wide reach to ensure he picked a maximum points score from three judges, while two gave the Mongolian a maximum score.

In the third round, with coach Benjamin Musa urging him on to take advantage of the Mongolian’s fatigue, Okoth couldn’t keep his jabs coming as the Mongolian just but managed to outscore Okoth with three of the judges giving him a 10 while only two gave the 38 year old a 10.

It's not over yet

Kenya's hopes of clinching a medal in the boxing category now lies on Heavyweight Elly Ajowi, Featherweight Christine Ongare and Welterweight Elizabeth Akinyi.

Ongare will lock horns with Irish Magno of the Philippines tomorrow, July 25 at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan. Magno made history as the first female Filipino boxer to qualify for Olympic Games.

The winner of their bout will set a date with either Boualam Rouamasya of Algeria or Jutamas Jitpong of Thailand on July 29.

Ongare said she was ready to prove to the rest of the world that Kenya and specifically Nairobi's Eastlands area has the capacity to produce world beaters in the boxing arena.

"I have worked hard enough to secure this opportunity and I'm ready to make good use of it. I believe a win for me will be a win for Kenyan girls and women who are grappling with challenges back home especially in eastlands area of Nairobi," said Ongare.

Akinyi will square herself in the Red Corner and will take on Panguana Alcinda Helena of Mozambique.

Asked on her preparedness, Akinyi said: “I have fought against Alcinda before during Zone 3 Championship in Kinshasa, DRC Congo and lost on points. I have prepared better and I believe I will defeat her this time round when it matters the most”.

Ajowi will step onto the canvas on Tuesday, July 27 starting off in the blue corner and will trade punches with Cruz Julio of Cuba in the heavyweight division.

“La Cruz might be a four-time world champion and an Olympic champion but that was in light heavyweight.

He is very beatable. During the 2019 world championship he lost, I have nothing to lose against him come Tuesday he will not have anywhere to run. He is going to meet his waterloo,” Ajowi said.

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