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OKWIRI RETURNS

Okwiri says he has unfinished business at Olympic Games stage

The 33-year-old Okwiri claimed he was robbed of victory against world champion Mohammed Rabii of Morocco in a welterweight round of 16 in Rio in 2016.

In Summary

•The former Prisons boxer won gold in Cameroon to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Coach Musa Benjamin while announcing the changes said Okwiri’s inclusion will motivate the rest of the team.

•David Munuhe will be the deputy coach while John Waweru, Charles Mukula and Leamy Katibi of Mombasa will be among the trainers.

Coach Benjamin Musa poses with Rayton Okwiri and Shaffi Bakari in training yesterday
Coach Benjamin Musa poses with Rayton Okwiri and Shaffi Bakari in training yesterday
Image: COURTESY

Professional boxer Rayton Okwiri yesterday said he has unfinished business with Olympics Games following his debacle in Rio 2016.

This follows his surprise inclusion into the provisional Kenya team ‘Hit Squad’ for the Africa Olympic qualifiers slated for Dakar, Senegal from February 20-29. He is among the 28 boxers, who proceed to camp on Saturday at Nairobi’s Mathare Police Depot.

The 33-year-old Okwiri claimed he was robbed of victory against world champion Mohammed Rabii of Morocco in a welterweight round of 16  in Rio in 2016.

“I have unfinished bossiness with Olympic Games because of biased officiating in 2016. Rio went down in history as the worst ever officiated Games where deserving boxers lost their rightful places in the event,” said Okwiri who has since moved up from welter to middleweight.

He has an unbeaten professional record of 6 wins and 1 draw. This will be Okwiri’s second appearance at the Olympics Games after Rio.

“I wish to thank Boxing Federation of Kenya for giving me the opportunity to rediscover my Olympic dream. My controversial loss in Rio informed my decision to join paid ranks and I’m glad another opportunity has presented itself. I hope to first qualify in Senegal,” Okwiri said.

The former Prisons boxer won gold in Cameroon to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Coach Musa Benjamin while announcing the changes said Okwiri’s inclusion will motivate the rest of the team.

But he, however, said he will fight for the position with All Africa Games middleweight bronze medallist George Cosby and Edwin Okong’o. Musa added that a team of 28 will be whittled down to a final 8 in the men’s category and five in the women’s category.

David Munuhe will be the deputy coach while John Waweru, Charles Mukula and Leamy Katibi of Mombasa will be among the trainers.

“Okwiri is a very experienced boxer and stands a good chance of making it to the top. We have a team of trainers to cater for the magnitude of boxers being earmarked for Senegal,” he said. Musa said the team will train at the Police Depot before heading into residential training in Nanyuki.

The provision team picked from the National League has the likes of All Africa Games silver medallist Shaffi Bakari, bronze medallists Boniface Mugunde (welter), George Cosby (middle), Elly Ajowi (heavy), Gold Coast Commonwealth games bronze medallist Christine Ongare and Elizabeth Andiego (middle). Other boxers in the team are Lorna Kusa and Humphrey Ochieng’ ‘Jakababa’.

The boxing tournaments at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will take place from July 25 July to August 9, 2020 at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan.Those who fail to make the cut in Dakar will have to try their luck in Paris in May during the final World qualifier.