Sports

Ten make Commonwealth Games squad in entertaining trials at Nairobi’s Kaloleni Social Hall

Weaves, bobs and punches brought out the best of the boxers Saturday at Kaloleni Grounds as 10 contestants earned berths for possible consideration in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Nick Abaka of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Benson Gicharu of Kenya Police led a select squad that will represent Kenya in Australia in April.

The experienced duo qualified Saturday alongside eight other boxers at the final trials held at Nairobi’s Kaloleni Social Hall in competitive bouts. 

Battle-hardened Abaka outboxed his challenger Peter Abuti of Kenya Prisons in unanimous decision in the light heavyweight men finals.

The 3-0 decision and subsequent selection to the Gold Coast showpiece in August meant that the 36-year old Abaka has confounded critics with another solid season.

On the other end, tactical genius Gicharu wowed the crowd and judges with his ring mastery when he downed Isaac Meja of KDF 3-0 during the bantamweight men’s finals in yet another forces duel.

Speaking to People Sport yesterday via phone, the KDF fighter nicknamed ‘King’ predicted a good show for him in the championship.

“My body feels good and I am so happy with my performances this year. This particular fight was good but tough and because of my experience, I found the right strategy to beat my opponent. It is the third time we met but so far he has never won,” he said.

Abaka has attributed his consistency this year to smart training. “Obviously as you grow old your muscles tire but I am thankful I have been able to come good against younger opponents with controlled training patterns to take care of my body and muscles,” said Abaka.

BAK President John Kameta has expressed optimism that his charges will bring pride to the country during the festivals.

“The trials showed us how much spots were up for grabs as everyone was really in the chase. We are looking at sending a strong team of 10 which will include four women,” said the official who revealed plans are afoot to take the team to India for build-up tournament before hosting either Cameroon or England to Nairobi before the Games begins proper.

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