NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s boxing team hopes to end their 14-year jinx and win
their first gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in
Commonwealth silver medalist Benson Gicharu said the country has
potential, and only needs a little bit more in training and
skills to make their mark at the Commonwealth Games.
Games is only open to athletes from former British colonies or
members of the Commonwealth of Nations. A total of 72 countries
and regions will be in action in Australia’s Gold Coast from
“There is potential
in Kenya’s boxing. The league standards have improved and we
have qualified coaches. There is a hunger to excel from the
boxers. I believe we will have our answers at Gold Coast,” said
Kenya will enter
seven boxers in the Commonwealth Games. The team has embarked on
a serious training regimen and will send a team of 24 boxers to
the India Open Boxing tournament on Jan 28.
Kenya’s boxing head
coach Patrick Maina said the tournament is critical for their
preparation, as they will be able to test their skills and gauge
their potential before heading to camp.
“This tournament is
really important. Our boxers will fight in a real competition
and we will see areas that need to be worked on,” Maina told
Xinhua on Friday in Nairobi.
The 24-member team -
20 men and 4 women- pitched camp in Nairobi for training.
All four women are
guaranteed slots for the three-day inaugural tournament that
will be held in the Indian capital New Delhi. The other ten
places will be filled by a selected group of men.
“We are grateful for
this chance because it’s a good platform for my boxers to get
the exposure they yearn for and let them test their strengths
and flaws before April,” Maina said
Maina has identified
Gicharu, Nick Okoth (bronze medalist), Nickson Abaka and Shaffy
Bakari as heavy favorites to win medals for Kenya at the Gold
of Kenya President John Kameta, said there will be more exposure
for the team.
“From India, we will
go straight to a residential training camp and in March, the
team will head to Mauritius for more training that will also
involve facing other boxers from other countries. After that
they will be ready for the games,” Kameta said.
Kameta urged local
fans to rally behind the team as they seek a better outing in
Australia, having bagged just one medal at the previous edition
In Glasgow in 2014,
Kenya won only one bronze medal from 12 boxers while in New
Delhi (2010) and Melbourne (2006), the country won three bronze
medals. Kenya’s last gold medal in boxing was in 1994.