Kenyan boxing head coach Musa Benjamin has thanked the country’s National Olympic Committee for their financial support on the road to Tokyo Olympic.
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Two Kenyan boxers have already booked their places at this year’s rearranged Games through last year’s African qualifier in Senegal – Nick Okoth in the men’s featherweight and Christine Ongare in the women’s flyweight.
The team was known as the “hit squad” is hoping more will qualify through the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Paris, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now tentatively planned for June. Benjamin said the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) had been with the team every step of the way.
“NOCK has walked with us all through,” he said to Citizen Digital.
They gave us the strength and conditioning coach that is in camp, for now, the nutritionist was also availed by them together with a psychologist. They gave us ring boots and other practicing materials which will help us a lot.
“The players are very happy because these materials are not cheap.
We thank NOCK so much for boosting our efforts in trying to send more boxers to the Olympics in Tokyo. Kenya’s team is currently training in capital city Nairobi. Boxing is the only sport the country has won an Olympic medal in outside the traditional Kenyan specialty of athletics and in particular long-distance running.
The country’s boxers have made the podium seven times, including gold for welterweight Robert Wangila at Seoul 1988. Benjamin’s comments will be a boost for the NOCK which endured a turbulent build-up to the Rio 2016 Summer Games.
Several top officials ended up in court after claims money meant for Kenyan athletes in Brazil was misused, with missing kit among the allegations. Earlier this month, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) held a continental forum online and in Nairobi. New AIBA President Umar Kremlev attended the event in the capital in person.
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