By Shadrack Andenga Odinga
2021 Tokyo Olympics bound Kenyan boxer Nick Okoth has declared publicly that next year’s international event is his last showdown while representing and defending the Kenyan flag.
Speaking during an interview with a local TV station, Nick Okoth together with the Kenyan team popularly known as the ‘Hit Squad” already have started training and seem ready.
“This is my last Olympics competition, I have prayed enough and asked God to at least give me a medal. I want to sign out in style and at the same time hope to inspire the many young boxers aspiring to play for the national side,” said the 37 year old.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic caused havoc to sporting activities in Kenya, the government suspended all sporting activities in the country. But recently, sports minister Amina Mohammed gave the go ahead for non-contact sports to commence, as she awaits another report from the ministry of health on how to proceed with contact sports.
However, the Tokyo bound Kenyan boxing team has started its preparations as most boxers have now rediscovered themselves.
“The pandemic is a blessing in disguise. Mostly as we prepare for international events, the time frame is a little bit short, but as compared to now we have the whole year to ourselves. I already feel ready and fearless. May God help me to come back with a medal since I won’t feature again as a player,” prayed Okoth who also added that the federation and the government have both shown massive support to the team and there is no reason not to perform.
The veteran amateur boxer from Mathare slums fought at the 2008 Olympics as a featherweight after winning the 2nd AIBA African 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. In Beijing he lost his debut to Arturo Santos Reyes.
With the Olympics postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, now he leads the Kenyan selected team and they have plenty of time to prepare for their dreams.
The Kenyan world of boxers will be all eyes as they hope and pray for their champion to make history as he takes a last bow which also will be his last kiss at the international stage while playing for the national colors.