KENOSI FULFILS OLYMPIC DREAM
Hard hitting female boxer, Keamogetse Kenosi, fondly known as Sadie, has engraved herself in the country’s sporting history by becoming the first female boxer to qualify for the Olympics.
Ironically, she became the first athlete from the continental Olympic qualifiers in Senegal to secure a place in the Olympic boxing tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Kenosi confirmed her billing as the top seed in the women’s featherweight division after winning the much awaited semi-final match against Moroccan Bertal Widad on a unanimous point decision.
The win sets her a date in the women’s featherweight final match against Tunisian Moulahi Hlimi today where she will be fighting from the red corner.
Prior to Kenosi’s polished performance on Wednesday, four of her teammates took a tumble and failed to secure the dream quota places for the summer games.
It was a heartbreaking loss for team Botswana, whose Olympic ambitions are now on hold and will now set sight on the final world qualifying event penciled for the French capital, Paris, in May.
The tournament will give boxers a second chance to qualify for Tokyo.
Speaking from her base in Dakar, Kenosi said she was oozing with confidence ahead of her semi-final clash with Widad.
She said she had already picked the Moroccan’s weak points when they traded punches in the 12th African Games featherweight bout in Morocco last year August. Kenosi won 4-1.
Her coach, Lechedzani Luza, said the victory resuscitated the somber mood in the camp.
Luza said the general performance of the boxers was top notch, and that they were worried that they failed to qualify for the advancing rounds.
He said her teammates’ loss pushed Kenosi to the edge and she prepared like a wounded buffalo. Luza said ahead of the semi-final bout Kenosi’s hunger for victory was even visible in training.
Her first attempt for an Olympic berth was dashed after succumbing to Tunisia in the continental showpiece in Cameroon in 2016.
The 22-year-old 2018 regional 57kg champion has had mixed fortunes in the past, but her coach is adamant that through her relentless hard work, Kenosi will command a respectable position in Japan.
Her form took a fall in the 2015/16 season, but she came back stronger and is the current Botswana Boxing Association female boxer of the year.
Luza said Kenosi’s determination, patience and her drive to push harder were second to none. BOPA