The Kenya national boxing team coach Musa Benjamin has said they aim to win the Zone 3 title when the tournament gets underway on Saturday in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Musa also said this was an opportunity to test the preparedness of Nick Okoth and Christine Ongare towards the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan as well as to look at the potential of emerging boxers.
“It will be a very good stage for our boxers who have qualified for the olympics to gauge how well prepared they are for the Olympics. We would really love to win the Zone 3 championship. It will also put some experience to the new boxers making their debuts in this competition. We pray to God to grant us good health so that we can represent the Kenya flag with the respect it deserves,” coach Musa said.
The tactician has mentioned four key areas in which he considered during their preparation for the Congo outing.
“During our preparations we emphasized on punching technics, heating harder and faster with precision, defensive work that help on dodging jabs, player movement to help them get in and out of range together with punching effectiveness to help them finish off their opponents early enough without much effort.” Added Musa.
During their preparations the Boxing Federation of Kenya assigned two more coaches, Hassan Salim of Kibera Club and Maurice Maina of Kenya Prisons to help sharpen the 16-member Hit Squad ahead of the the Africa Zone 3 Championship.
BFK communications director, Duncan Kuria, explained the importance of having more coaches in the squad. “The normal practice at the national team is that when the number of boxers exceed eight, then there should be at least six coaches for effective preparations,” said Kuria.
They two coaches joined the existing technical bench comprising of head coach Musa Benjamin, assistant David Munuhe, Patrick Waweru and strength and conditioning coach Geoffrey Kimani to complete the coaching unit.
The squad had initially hoped to attain more slots in the Olympics at the world repechage qualifiers in France but the event was called off after the Tokyo Olympics organising committee admitted it was pressed for time to accommodate any further qualifiers.
BFK president Anthony Ombok says they’ll use the DRC tournament to gauge the team’s preparedness for Tokyo Games .
The boxers have been in camp since late last year after the government allowed national teams to prepare for international assignments following months of inactivity due to Covid-19 outbreak and they will travel to Congo this Friday.