Kenya will send a 14-member team to the India Open Boxing tournament as they aim to hone their boxers preparations for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
A training camp is currently underway at Ruaraka Grounds in Nairobi, with 28 boxers being put through their paces prior to the event in India.
The camp includes four women, who are all assured of heading to tournament, due to begin on January 28.
The men’s squad will be split in half at the end of the camp, with 10 then travelling to Delhi to increase their chances of earning a Commonwealth Games berth.
Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Benson Gicharu is tipped as one of the favourites to secure a place in the squad.
Bantamweight Nick Okoth, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist at Delhi 2010, has been earmarked as a contender for a place in the Gold Coast 2018 team.
Nickson Abak and Shaffy Bakari are also favoured to claim spots, with seven boxers set to be selected.
“We are already on with the preparation for the tournament which will help us make changes for the Commonwealth Games,” Kenya’s head coach Patrick Maina told Citizen Digital.
“We are grateful for this chance because it’s a good platform for my players to be exposed and let their strengths and flaws be seen by the technical bench before April.”
Following the three-day event in India, Kenya’s team are then expected to take part in another training camp.
They will then face boxers from rival nations at an event in Mauritius in March, which they believe will have their team fully prepared for the Commonwealth Games.
Kenya will hope to improve on their performance at Glasgow 2014, when Benson Gicharu Njangiru claimed their only medal, a bronze in the men’s bantamweight event.
It proved a disappointing haul after winning three boxing medals at both Delhi 2010 and Melbourne 2006.
Kenya last earned a Commonwealth Games boxing gold back in Victoria 1994 when Abdurahaman Ramadhani and Omar Ahmed winning the light flyweight and heavyweight events respectively.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place from April 4 to 15.