•The national boxing team clinched six bronze medals at the week-long premier continental boxing extravaganza that ended on Saturday.
•The seasoned gaffer said they will begin preparations for the Olympic qualifiers as soon as they return home.
Hit Squad head coach Benjamin Musa said he is pleased with the quality of performance displayed by his charges at the Africa Boxing Championships in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The national boxing team clinched seven bronze medals at the week-long premier continental boxing extravaganza that ended on Saturday.
The medalists are Peter Abuti (heavyweight), Robert Okaka (light heavyweight), David Karanja (lightweight), Elizabeth Andiego (light heavyweight), Christine Ongare (minimum weight), Shaffi Bakari (bantam) and Amina Martha.
Each bronze medalist received $5000 as prize money. Gold medalists walked away with $15000 while those who bagged silver pocketed $10000.
"I'm happy we successfully shook off hostile officiating to bag six bronze medals. Our performance is a clear testimony of the huge potential our country has," Musa said.
The seasoned gaffer said they will begin preparations for the Olympic qualifiers as soon as they return home.
Their plane will touch down at the JKIA at 1 pm on Monday.
"Our next focus is the qualifiers that will be held in Dakar, Senegal next month. We plan to start preparing for the Olympics as soon as we return home," Musa remarked.
Musa, however, took issue with the haphazard manner in which the competition was conducted.
He said the organisers sneaked in boxers after the draw was completed on the first day of competition (Saturday), against the rules.
"The fights were supposed to start in the afternoon, but we ended up going into the ring at about 10 o'clock," Musa said.
Boxing Federation of Kenya's communications director Dancun "Sugar Ray" Kuria said they had hoped for a better performance.
"We are happy we managed to get more boxers into the medal bracket compared to last year when we only had four. However, we would have wished to win some gold and silver as well," Kuria said.
"Our boxers have great potential and could have easily made it to the finals. Hopefully, the coaches took note of the areas we need to work on before our next trip to Dakar," he added.
Kuria echoed Musa's concerns about numerous instances of "poor" officiating at the championships that merely served to benefit opponents.
"The referees would count against our boxers even when only simple punches had been delivered. Once you are subjected to counting it means you automatically lose the round and we lost some bouts as a result of this," said Kuria.