• “I am not scared of Mardi. We’ve met before and I’m familiar with her tactics and technical ability. I know it will be a tough fight but I’m confident of winning,” Andiego remarked.
• The outcome propelled the 32-year-old mother of one to the premier quadrennial games that will be held in the French capital beginning July next year.
Hit squad assistant captain Elizabeth Andiego on Thursday punched her ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after romping into the finals of the Boxing Africa Qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.
Andiego outclassed Tunisia’s Molka Mabrouk in the semifinals to book an enticing date with world champion Khadija Mardi of Morocco.
Mardi beat Nigeria’s Patricia Mbata to qualify for the final. It will be the second time Andiego will be flexing muscles with the Moroccan, who edged her to the Africa Boxing title in 2022.
“I am not scared of Mardi. We’ve met before and I’m familiar with her tactics and technical ability. I know it will be a tough fight but I’m confident of winning,” Andiego remarked.
“Today’s fight was not easy either because my opponent seemed to have done her homework very well. But I thank the coaches for constantly shouting out the tips that propelled me to victory.”
The outcome propelled the 32-year-old mother of one to the premier quadrennial games that will be held in the French capital beginning July next year.
All female gold and silver medalists at the ongoing qualifiers are assured of Olympic slots.
Andiego was the first East African female boxer to take part in the Olympic Games in 2012 in London.
Back then, the hard-hitting Kenyan pugilist cruised to the semifinals after earning a resounding 5-0 unanimous win over Ghanaian Ornella Sathoud at the Dakar Arena Hall in Senegal.
Hit Squad head coach Benjamin Musa hailed Andiego’s exemplary performance that secured the country the first Olympic ticket.
“It was a tight fight and we are happy with the outcome. We were always confident Liz was up to the task. We are all excited and happy for her,” Musa said.
“We are looking forward to another win in the final. She needs to crown her performance with a gold medal.”
Andiego has experienced a plain sailing season that was buoyed by a 10-day high-intensity training camp in Havana, Cuba.
She said she gleaned vital lessons from her trip to the Central American nation that informs her sublime form at the qualifiers thus far.