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Kenya’s medal hopes alive as Ajowi, Ramogi storm semis

By Amos Abuga
Tuesday, August 27th, 2019
Kenya’s Elly Ajowi (91kg) in action against Nigeria’s Chukwudi Arinze whom he beat 3-1 at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, on Sunday evening. Photo/PD/AMOS ABUGA

Kenya’s pugilists Elly Ajowi and Fredrick Ramogi stormed into the semi-finals after winning their respective bouts on Sunday evening at the ongoing 12th edition of African Games in Rabat, Morocco.

Both boxers, fighting in the super heavyweight category, were strong for their opponents. First in the ring was 2015 African Games bronze medallist   Ajowi (91kg) who defeated Nigeria’s Chukwudi Arinze 3-1.

He paved the way for Ramogi, who humbled home favourite Mohamed Firisse, in another super heavyweight battle.

Ramogi’s bout was termed the shortest in the Games as the Moroccan coach threw in the towel to save Mohamed from further humiliation.

Boniface Mogunde, also reached the semis after defeating Angola’s Nafital Goma in the men’s Welterweight category.  “Kenya’s game is on the upward trajectory.

That can be attributed to the ample time we gave the boxers while they were in camp in Kenya and also the kind of support we have promised to give them even after the Games,” said Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) president Anthony Ombok Otieno aka Jamal in Morocco.

In last evening’s bouts, captain Nick Okoth was expected to take on Mohamed Hamout of Morocco in the men’s featherweight category for a chance to reach the semi-finals while Bakari Hassan, who edged out Moroccan Said Mortaji 3-2 on Saturday in the fly (52kg), was due to battle Uganda’s Businge.

The only women’s fight involving a Kenyan was between Christine Ongare who took on Nigeria’s Morenikeji Oriyomi last evening. 

Meanwhile, captain Nick Okoth suffered an upset after going down 3-2 to Morocco’s Mohamed Hamout. The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer was one of the boxers that won medals from the 2015 games in Congo, Brazzaville.

In volleyball, Kenya’s Malkia Strikers are in the semi-final after hammering Senegal 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-12). Paul Bitok’s side, who finished top of the Pool B, now awaits the runners up from Pool A in the last four. 

The athletics calendar started officially yesterday with Kenyans expected to fight for gold in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase where Olympics and World champion Conseslus Kipruto teamed up with Kenyan champion Benjamin Kigen and Joash Kiplimo last night. 

In the other race last night, 2017 World Cross-Country silver medallist Lilian Kasait was to team up with World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet and Lydia Jeruto in the women’s 5,000m final.