•Standing at 5'6 and weighing 57kgs, Okoth believes he has a glorious opportunity to cap off his glittering career with an Olympic medal which has eluded him in the past.
•He'll be looking to improve his fortunes after being bundled out early in the preliminaries at the 2008 Beijing Games, where he crashed out to Arturo Santos Reyes.
Hit Squad captain Nick Okoth is shuffling his feet in anxiety, awaiting his turn to bask in unprecedented Olympic Games glory.
The Kenya Defence Forces officer — popularly known by his snappy moniker ‘Commander’ — has vowed to unleash the beast in him at the Tokyo Games as he clears his path for a historic medal.
Okoth left a succinct message as he and teammates departed for the Games on Sunday evening, saying: “Kenyans, I promise to fly the country's flag high in Tokyo. Expect to see me on the medal podium."
The 38-year-old featherweight pugilist reiterated he wouldn't let the country down, having already received heart-melting messages of love and encouragement on his social media platform ahead of his first bout.
“I’m overwhelmed by the positive comments I constantly receive on my Facebook page.”
Standing at 5'6 and weighing 57kgs, Okoth believes he has a glorious opportunity to cap off his glittering career with an Olympic medal, which has eluded him in the past.
“I’ve trained patiently for the last 12 years waiting for this moment to come and it is finally here. The last time I participated in the Olympics was during the Beijing Games in 2008," said Okoth.
“I didn't achieve much at that time given I was still naive and made juvenile errors in the ring. As much as I rue missing out on a gold medal then, I wouldn't regret much because I gathered some vital lessons that will enable me perform better this time around.”
Okoth says he is not quacking in the boots over his opponents given he knows them too well, like the back of his hand.
“This is neither All Africa Games nor Commonwealth Games. We are talking about the Olympics. That notwithstanding, the nature of the event isn't causing me sleepless nights. I'm not afraid of the people I'll be battling in Tokyo because I've met them before in other events,” said Okoth.
“We have prepared adequately for the task ahead and I feel so confident and ready to take on my opponents. One thing about preparing well is it makes me feel confident.”
“I wish to appreciate the good work our sparring partners did. Without them, we wouldn't have achieved our current form.”
He carries with him a wealth of experience to the Games having represented Kenya and won a bronze at the 2020 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and a bronze at the 2015 African Games.
Okoth also bagged a gold medal at the African Championships in Brazzaville and bronze at the 2015 African Military Championships in Tunis.
He'll be looking to improve his fortunes after being bundled out early in the preliminaries at the 2008 Beijing Games, where he crashed out to Arturo Santos Reyes.
Okoth cut his teeth at Undugu Boxing Club while growing up in Nairobi’s Mathare slums.