WINNING MODEL?

Hit Squad coaches change tack ahead of Commonwealth Games

The hard-battling Kenya Defence Forces officer — arguably the most experienced in the squad — said that a burning urge to break the Commonwealth medal jinx sired the new tactical model.

In Summary

•The 38-year-old will be hoping to exorcise the obstinate ghosts that have incessantly blocked his path to the medal podium when he takes a final stab at the forthcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games slated for July.

•Okoth said all the team members remain euphoric about their prospects of gracing the coveted quadrennial global showpiece even as the number of slots allotted to Hit Squad remain shrouded in mystery.

Kenya's Nick Okoth in tussle with Mongolian Erdenebat Tsendbaatar at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Saturday
Kenya's Nick Okoth in tussle with Mongolian Erdenebat Tsendbaatar at the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Saturday
Image: COURTESY

Kenya's national boxing team captain, Nick Okoth, reckons the new approach to training that is being employed by the tacticians will fire them to unprecedented heights on the global stage.

Okoth headlines the star-studded eight-member provisional squad currently sharpening their talons in residential training camp at Moi Stadium Kasarani ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games slated for July.

The hard-battling Kenya Defence Forces officer — arguably the most experienced in the squad — said that a burning urge to break the Commonwealth medal jinx has inspired the new tactical model.

The gaffers, led by Benjamin Musa, have been frantically groping for novel ways of transforming Kenyan pugilists into the desired gems after a series of heartbreaking outings. 

“Our coaches have discovered a new approach in training where they encourage us to sit down and analyze videos capturing us in past action,” Okoth said.

“We then discuss our strengths and weaknesses and suggest the adjustments we should make to improve the quality of our performance in the ring,” he added.

The coaches then use the information they have received from the group discussions to smoothen the rough edges that merely serve to impede the progress of the squad members.

“It's really working fine for us and I believe the approach will go a long way in bringing us to the desired standards,” Okoth said.

“Of course, we attend the gym as usual but the group discussion has really helped us to refine our skills because we work hard to correct the mistakes our colleagues point out.”

The 38-year-old will be hoping to exorcise the obstinate ghosts that have incessantly blocked his path to the medal podium when he takes a final stab at the forthcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games slated for July.

Okoth said all the team members remain euphoric about their prospects of gracing the coveted quadrennial global showpiece even as the number of slots allocated to Hit Squad remain shrouded in mystery.

The National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK) is yet to decide how many boxers will comprise the Kenyan contingent to the games.