Kenya national female welterweight champion Elizabeth Akinyi defeated Ghana’s Faruza Asuman by unanimous decision to become the first Kenyan boxer to cruise into the semi-finals of the African Olympic qualifiers in Senegal on Monday night.
Akinyi won the hearts of the five judges who each gave her a score of 29-28 for a total of 145-140 to reach the last four and be assured of at least a bronze medal.
As a result, Akinyi earned a ticket to face Morocco’s Bel Ahbib Oumayma who had beaten Cameroon’s Keuye Bernadette or Malewa Tekasala Jorbelle of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the quarter-finals.
Immediately after Akinyi’s victory, 2015 Africa Boxing Championships gold medalist Nick Okoth also won his match to book his ticket to the quarter-finals of the featherweight (52-57kg) bout.
Okoth defeated Mohammed Fahim Komsam of Egypt in a 4-1 splits points’ decision to get close to his previous dream of participating in the Olympics after he narrowly missed the 2016 Rio Olympics in the same tournament.
Okoth will face Petro Menuel Gomez of Angola who beat Mordjane Oussama of Algeria in the pre-quarterfinals after the Algerian received a bye in his opening match.
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The last Kenyan pugilist to bow out of the tournament was Boniface Mogunde who was beaten by Albert Mengue Ayissi of Cameroon in a first round stoppage in a welterweight bout.
Middleweight champion Elizabeth Andiego lost in the quarter-finals to Gramana Radi Adosinda of Mozambique to bow out of the tournament to join compatriots in flyweight Hassan Shaffi Bakari, lightweight Joseph Shigali, featherweight Beatrice Akoth, welterweight Boniface Mogunde, middleweight Rayton Okwiri and light heavyweight Humphrey Ochieng who also lost.