•Only four boxers are sharpening their ploughs for the Tokyo Olympics in July with the rest joining in as sparring partners.
•Boxing Federation of Kenya communications director Duncan Kuria said that the team would conduct sessions on a daily basis.
Twelve members of the national boxing team ‘Hit Squad’ have resumed training at their official camp in Lavington, Nairobi after getting a nod from the government.
The squad kicked off their sessions with morning runs along a road in Ndenderu on Saturday morning.
The 12 are Christine Ongare, Shaffi Bakari, David Karanja, Nick Okoth, Martin Odour, Victor Odhiambo, Elizabeth Akinyi, Boniface Mugunde, Elizabeth Andiego, Elly Ajowi, Hezron Maganga and Joshua Wasike.
According to a letter written on April 16 by the Acting Commissioner for Sports, Gerald Gitonga, the Hit Squad are now at liberty to embark on preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, where Kenya will be represented for pugilists.
“The above mentioned team is among the sports disciplines who have qualified for inclusion in the Team Kenya to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” read the letter in part.
“The team is authorised to carry out a training program as part of their preparations and are currently at the AV Fitness Gym in Nairobi.”
Boxing Federation of Kenya communications director Duncan Kuria said the team would conduct sessions on a daily basis.
“They will be training on a daily basis and we actually have six coaches; Musa Benjamin, David Munuhe, John Waweru, Ibrahim Bilali, Charles Mukula and Julius Theuri to guide them in the process,” said Kuria.
The Tokyo Olympics-bound quartet includes captain Okoth (featherweight), Ajowi (heavyweight), Ongare (lightweight) and Akinyi (welterweight).
Prior to the development, BFK and head coach Musa had expressed fear that the prolonged ban on sporting activities might compromise their chances of strutting to the medal podium at the Tokyo Olympics in July and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.
The tactician said competitive bouts had suddenly decreased in nature due to the prevalence of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We need at least two tournaments to be in the best shape for the Olympics. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit most countries hard and it's very difficult for the boxers to compete abroad,” said Musa.
“The Hit Squad had been in camp for five months without participating in any tournament and so the Africa Zone 3 Boxing Championship in Kinshasa was like God sent,” added Kuria.
“Lack of tournaments has been a real shortcoming in Africa. The last time boxers from sub- Sahara participated in competitive bouts was during the 2020 African Olympics qualifiers in Dakar Senegal.”