The number of Nigerian boxers likely to feature at the 2016 Rio Olympics Boxing event is growing leaner by the day as three hopeful pugilists from the country were all beaten in Day 5 of the ongoing qualification competition taking place in Cameroon capital, Yaoundé.
In the men’s flyweight competition, Algerian top seed Mohamed Flissi outclassed Nigeria’s Muyideen Oyakojo to underline his title credentials both in the Africa qualification series and at the Olympic Games proper in Rio.
Also, Ugandan light heavyweight and Beijing 2008 Olympian Kennedy Katende marked his 31st birthday with a brilliant win over Nigeria’s Sadiq Umar.
There was more misery for Nigeria in the heavyweight cadre as Mauritius’ APB star Joseph Kennedy St. Pierre’s out-punched another Nigerian hopeful, Efetobor Apochi.
While it was all gloom in the men’s category, there was at least something to cheer from the women’s angle as talented Nigerian, Caroline Linus, showed her Olympic potential with a comprehensive win over Kenya’s Christine Ongare.
Also in the women’s category, Morocco’s Zohra Ez Zahraoui saw off a spirited challenge from Zambia’s top female boxer Juliana Kasonka.
A total of 241 boxers across Africa are taking part in the qualification competition taking place in Cameroon capital, Yaoundé which started on March 11 and will run through 19th.
From the lot, there are 31 slots for men and only three for female boxers from the continent at the Rio Olympics.