Four top Kenyan referees have been appointed to officiate at the Africa Zone Three Boxing Championships to be held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, from April 4-9.
The quartet is led by Nairobi-based referees Nelson Otieno and Rebecca Wambui and will be assisted by Joseph ‘OJ’ Odhiambo from Nakuru and Hellen Wanjiku from Mombasa.
They will join other top referees from across the continent for the week-long continental showpiece that prepares boxers for the African Boxing Championships in Mauritius, the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Turkey and the Commonwealth Games in England in June, May 6-21 and July 27-August 8 respectively. .
Otieno (Nelson), who was voted top referee at the Konstatin Korotkov Memorial Boxing Championships in Russia last year, hopes to embody the same character and performance in the same tournament in pursuit of top honors.
“We are here to replicate the same performance as we did in Russia because we hope to see most of our boxers reach the medal category,” Otieno told Standard Sports.
A total of 23 boxers divided into 13 men and 10 women were to leave for Kinshasa last night alongside the four referees.
Head coach Musa Benjamin has urged the players to take their matches seriously as their performances in the DRC will be taken into consideration when selecting the final squads for the upcoming international tournaments.
“This time what is important for us as coaches is to see the players put in a terrific performance because what all stakeholders in boxing demand are positive results,” he said. he declared.
Benjamin said they are on the verge of getting the long awaited results in the race for top honors as they want to bring Kenya back to their original place in the world boxing championships.
“All of our strategies are to bring Kenya back to its place on the world boxing map and that will happen gradually,” he said.
A total of 10 countries are scheduled to participate.
They include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Libya, Congo Brazzaville and Cameroon.
Yesterday Kenya Boxing Federation Secretary General David Munuhe said coaches and referees were due to meet last night in Kinshasa to deliberate on the technical aspects of the tournament before it starts this afternoon.
Participating countries should have arrived last night before the draw for the technical meeting.
“We are expected to go to this meeting which should discuss different technicalities that guide us on how to run the tournament from the first to the last fight,” Munuhe said.
THE COMPLETE TEAM.
Minimum weight (48 kg); -Martin Maina (Kenya Police).
Flyweight (51kg);-David Karanja (Kenya Police).
Bantamweight (54 kg); -Shaffi Bakari (Kenya Police).
Featherweight (57 kg); -Isaac Meja and Samuel Njau (Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).
Lightweight (60 kg);-Nick Okoth (KDF).
Light welterweight (63.4 kg); -Victor Odhiambo (KDF),.
Welterweight (67kg); -Joseph Shigali (Kenya Police).
Light middle weight (71 kg); – Boniface Mogunde (Kenya Police).
Average weight (75 kg); -Edwin Okong’o (KDF).
Light heavyweight (81 kg); -James Denga (Kentrack).
Super heavy weight (over 92 kg); – Elly Ajowi (Kenya Police).
Minimum weight (45-48kg);-Christine Ongare (Kenya Police).
Flyweight (49 kg); -Ann Wanjiru (Kongowea from Mombasa).
Bantamweight (54 kg); – Alice Weiyego (Nairobi).
Featherweight (57kg);-Martha Amina (Nairobi).
Lightweight (60kg); – Stacy Ayoma (Nairobi Box Girls).
Light welterweight (63.4 kg); – Teresia Wanjiru (Kenya Prisons),
Welterweight (67kg); -Everlyne Akinyi (Kisumu).
Light middle weight (71 kg); – Lorna Kusa (St John’s Nairobi).
Average weight (75 kg);-Elizabeth Akinyi (Kentrack).
Mid-heavyweight (81 kg); -Elizabeth Andiego (Nairobi County).