Okwiri punches way to second round of Tokyo 2020 selections

By Amos Abuga
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
Rayton Okwiri celebrates beating Libyan Mostafa Gala Morsy in Middleweight fight. INSET: Kenya Boxing team technical officials follow Okwiri’s fight. PD/COURTESY

Rayton Okwiri will face Uganda’s Kavuma David Ssemujju in the second round of the ongoing Africa Olympic boxing qualifiers in Dakar Senegal on Sunday.

This is after the highly-ranked Okwiri, who competed at Rio 2016 Olympics dispatched Libya’s Emhemed Salem to reach the quarter finals of the middleweight division and enhance his chances of qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

“I wanted to set the right tempo for myself and all my team-mates and give them something to emulate. I also wanted to send a message that we’re capable of making it to Tokyo in large numbers,” said Okwiri.

In other bouts, Angola’s Eduardo Zola Daniel progressed in the middleweight after he beat home favourite Pape Mamadou Ndiaye.

Ndiaye was given a standing count in the first round and, although he recovered and fought his way back into the contest, he fell to a unanimous points defeat.

Ghana’s Abubakari Kwasi Quartey proved too strong for Somalia’s Adan Ahmed Mohamed to join Okwiri and Daniel in round two. David Tshama Mwenekabwe of the Democratic Republic of Congo is also through after defeating Mali’s Mohamed Diaby.

In the flyweight category, Patrick Chinyemba of Zambia produced an impressive display to overcome Uganda’s Disan Mubiru.

There were also victories for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Doudou Ilungu Kabange and Mick Mikamou Mayelet of Gabon over Marco Jerome Andrianarivelo, of Madagascar and Lesotho’s Tiholohelo Mokhesi, respectively.

Ivory Coast’s Sedja Sanogo beat Sarra Kali of Algeria and Bernadette Keuye of Cameroon dominated the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Jorbelle Malewu Teksala in the first two bouts in the women’s welterweight category.

The tournament, being organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Task Force owing to the suspension of the International Boxing Association as the governing body for the sport continues Sunday.

A total of 33 places in the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020 will be on offer at the African Olympic qualifier in Dakar.

The competition at the Dakar International Expo Centre in the Senegalese capital, which concludes on February 29, is the first in a series of boxing qualification events for this year’s Olympic Games. The qualifiers are being organised by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Boxing Task Force, established after the International Boxing Association was stripped of its recognition as the governing body for the sport in June.

Twenty-two berths will be at stake across the eight men’s weight divisions, with 11 available in the five women’s categories.

Three places in the men’s flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight categories will be up for grabs in Dakar.Two spots will be available in the heavyweight and super-heavyweight divisions.

The women’s flyweight category offers three Tokyo 2020 berths, with two at stake in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight classes. 

                      - Amos Abuga