Fists of gold

Portia Mlilo
LEFT HOOK: Kenosi in action

Kenosi becomes first boxer to qualify for 2020 Olympics

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Kenosi was a saving grace for the Botswana team that failed to go past the quarter finals at the ongoing qualifiers held in Dakar-Senegal.

After seeing her team members losing in the quarterfinals, the Monarch lass put on a show stopping performance, outclassing her Moroccan opponent Bertal Widad 5-0 in the 57kg category to progress to the finals and secure her Olympic berth.

Her qualification brings to four the number of Botswana athletes who have so far qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She’ll be joining Nijel Amos, Galefele Moroko and Christine Botlogetswe.

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In a telephone interview with Voice Sport after the fight, Kenosi said she felt absolutely no pressure since she already her opponent very well from their encounter at the Africa Games in Morocco.

She defeated Widad 4-1 back in August on her way to clinch gold at Africa’s biggest sports showpiece.

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“I knew her weaknesses and I’d made sure I worked on mine as I knew she was obviously planning to exploit them,” she said.

The 2019 Africa Games Gold medalist said qualifying for the Olympics means a lot to her.

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“I’m ready to fight for my country and become a true ambassador,” she said excitedly .

The hard hitting lady hailed the Botswana Boxing Association for organising international training camps which she credits for her good performance.

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PROUD: Kenosi with her coaches

She also singled out her coaches Lechedzani Luza, Choga Ntoti and Thebe Setlalekgosi.

“This victory is dedicated to them,” said the African Champ.

“My target is to bring home an Olympic medal. This is the beginning, I still have to work hard in my preparations,” she said.

An equally excited Luza was all giggly on the other side of the telephone line. The winning coach described her athlete as a stable boxer with a big heart.
The national team coach said, surprisingly Kenosi is always calm ahead of matches.

“I’ve never seen her nervous. Like she always does, she fought very well and now we’re are preparing for the finals against Tunisia on Friday,” said Luza.

“We want to win gold. From here we will send a training plan to Botswana National Olympic Committee so that we can get more fights especially against international athletes,” he said.

Luza said they still have to work on the athlete’s general power and strength.

He said they are also happy with the performance of other boxers.

“Unlike in 2016 where we were eliminated in the preliminaries, we managed to send five boxers in to the quarterfinal and we were very unfortunate to lose especially Rajab Mohammed’s fight against against the Mozambique opponent,” cried Luza.

“I hope we will be given an opportunity to go to Paris for the World Qualifiers because I believe in my team. They don’t give up,” said Luza.

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