Coach Musa confident of boxing team win in UK
The head coach of Kenya’s national boxing team, Hit Squad, Musa Benjamin has expressed optimism about the country’s pugilists shining in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games which gets underway this week.
“I can only say so far so good. From what I have observed in training, these boxers look like bright medal prospects and the idea here is for them to use what they have learned in the work-outs,” Musa said.
The tactician reckoned that experience may count a lot on the Kenyan team and singled out flyweight Captain Nick Okoth as one of the boxers who will hold the key for the country in the ‘Club’ Games.
“If you look at a boxer like Okoth, he won a bronze medal at the 2010 Games held in New Delhi, India during which time he was not at his usual best. This time, his performance in training has been satisfactory and I expect him to go all the way to the final and hopefully clinch gold for the country,” Musa said.
He added that he expects a good show from female pugilists as well and most notably Elizabeth Andiego.
“All these are at an improved level, particularly after the Women’s World Championships and especially Andiego,” he said of the boxer who missed the 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games due to a freak accident that left her with a broken leg.
The team of four boxers has been in camp for two weeks and is touted as one that shall put East Africa on the world map.
Kenya will be represented by 127 athletes drawn from athletics, boxing, squash, hockey, badminton, 3 on 3 basketball, cycling, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, lawn bowls and Para-cycling.
In the meantime, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Secretary Francis Mutuku said the body is determined to ensure that the country returns home with as many medals as possible.
“We are ready for Birmingham. We ensured that all athletes are geared up and especially in training and performance. There is a burning desire to improve on the team’s performance during the 2018 edition in Gold Coast in Ivory Coast.,” said Mutuku.
Team Kenya travelled to Birmingham with almost half of the official members of the contingent as the rest who were in the national teams at the just concluded World Athletics Championships in Oregon connected directly to the Club Games.
Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohammed had earlier presided over a Steering Committee to oversee the Kenyan team’s preparations and participation in the Games which will feature 72 teams, including the 54 Commonwealth countries and 18 territories.
In the meantime, the national rugby team, Simbas, shall begin its campaign at the Games with a match against neighbour Uganda on Friday followed by the fixture against Australia a day later.