AYUMBA AYODI

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Featherweight Beatrice Akoth and lightweight Joseph Shigali were the first Kenyans to exit the scene in the ongoing Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at Dakar International Expo Centre, Senegal.

Okoth lost on unanimous points to Ramla Ali from Somalia while Shigali bowed out after losing to Ghanaian Abdul Wahib also on points all on Friday night.

Ramla, who once appeared on the cover of Vogue Magazine, showed some good footwork and swift hands to win her opening encounter to outwit Okoth.

Okoth gave a good account of herself with some aggressive approach, moving forward, but that played into the hands of the Ramla, who picked her off to run out a comfortable points.

Ramla will now meet second seeded Khouloud Hilmi from Tunisia in the quarterfinals on Monday. Hilmi, who claimed silver medal at the African Games last year, got a bye to the quarterfinals.

Shigali’s dream of making the second round proved a cropper when Wahib, who is possibly Ghana’s best hope of getting a boxer to Tokyo, was a pretty conclusive points winner.

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Wahib now gets to face Carlos Alberto Mucamba, who got a bye in the second round, on Sunday.

On Thursday, Kenya’s Rayton “Boom Boom” Okwiri advanced to second round of his middleweight contest after beating Emhemed Salem from Libya.

Okwiri meets top seeded David Kavuma from Uganda in the second round on Sunday.

Team Kenya skipper Nick Okoth is the only boxer taking to the ring on Saturday against Wilson Semedo from Cape Verde in their featherweight first round contest.

The winner will get to meet Egyptian Fahmi Koms Mohammed in the second round on Monday.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Christine Ongare faces Omella Havyarimana from Burundi in their flyweight contest Sunday, with the winner earning a quarterfinal date with second seeded Zalia Modestine Munga from Congo on Tuesday.

Also Sunday, African Games silver medallist Shaffi Bakari takes on Tetteh Sulemanu in the second round of their flyweight contest.

Sulemanu booked the date with Shaffi on Thursday after he took the fight to Mohamed Mostafa Galal Morsy, of Egypt, which paid off as he emerged a handy winner.

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