Tough draw for Kenyan boxers as London games launch

Jul 27, 2021
  • Photo:File

Commonwealth Games Fly weight silver medalist Benson Nganjiru and Elizabeth Andego were handed a treacherous Olympic boxing draws at the ExCel centre on Friday.

If Njangiru goes past Egyptian Hesham Abdelaal the World Youth Bronze medalist (2010), in his preliminary bout  he is lined up to fight Uzbekistan’s fly champion Latipov Jasurbek, seeded third here in London.

But for the skillful and determined self-branded ‘fighter’ the draw just proves that competition for the medals in the fly will be fierce.

“Looking at the draw its just there, not good and bad.Everyone who is here is tough,it is a meeting of the best of the best,”said Njangiru, the African silver medallist.

“Am ready so ready for anyone that I don’t event think the small ankle injury I picked can deter me,” he added.

“When I get to the ring, I go wild am like a charged lion and forget all the pain and just focus on the goal.”

Njangiru picked up the injury during training in Cardiff where the two Kenyan boxers set camp for the past three weeks.

Andego’s preliminary middle bout will be against Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova,a silver medallist in the Light heavy in 2010 which she followed up with fifth position finish at the Asian(2010) and World championships which also served as the games qualifiers in China.

Even more difficult should be her second round bout against Britain’s reigning World champion Savannah Marshall.

“It is an interesting draw against well known boxers which kind of favours me because they don’t know me well.

It is a good experience to fight them I am hoping I will have a chance to watch their videos and formulate some tricks,”offered Andengo who made her international debut at the World championship in Barbados in 2010.

“Depending on how you look at it is a very tough draw, but considering their preparations and current form the Kenyans could spring surprises,” noted the Kenyan Boxing team manager John Kameta after attending the draw session at ExCel.

“Our fighters are fighters and they don’t care whom they face they are ready for whoever.”

Marshall has been handed a bye to the second round and will skip the opening rounds on August 5.Njangiru’s opening bout is set for Monday, July 30.

 

 Evelyn Watta in London 

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