The Kenyan boxing team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games admitted their morale has been dented upon hearing that Veronicah Mbithe decided to withdraw from camp.
The 20-year-old light flyweight women’s fighter pulled out of the camp at Madison Square Garden Gymnasium in Nakuru to join Kenya Defense Forces Training Camp, which begins on Sunday in Eldoret.
“The team will now have 10 fighters and the morale is low for now. This is not the first time a fighter is pulling out; our current captain Nickson Ambaka also had to leave before an earlier edition of the Commonwealth for military training. We are all happy for her and we will be fine, this is for her later life,” hit squad coach Patrick Maina hit squad coach told Citizen Digital.
Attempts by the Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) to convince the KDF to allow her take part in the April 4-15 Games were unsuccessful.
So far, efforts to replace the young star also remain futile.
“I talked to the Chef De Mission to allow us add one man because I only have 10 in camp, but he says the only replacement would be with another female boxer of the same category and weight.
“I believed in Mbithe, this time round having watched her fight, she could have brought us a medal,” the coach said in disappointment.
Team Kenya Commonwealth Boxing Team
Men:-Shaffi Bakari (Light flyweight), Brian Agina (Flyweight), Benson Gicharu (Bantamweight), Nick Okoth (Lightweight), Victor Odhiambo (Light welterweight), Edwin Okongo (Middleweight), Captain Nick Abaka (Light heavyweight), Elly Ajowi (Heavyweight)
Women: Christine Ongare (Bantamweight), Lorna Kusah (Light welterweight) and Elizabeth Andiego (Middleweight).