Boxer Ongare now plans to add weight and move to a different category ahead of Paris Olympics in 2024

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 00:00 |
Philippines’ Irish Magno (red) and Kenya’s Christine Ongare fight during their women’s fly (48-51kg) preliminaries boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on July 25, 2021. Photo/AFP

Diminutive pugilist ‘ghetto girl’ Christine Ongare has said that for her to compete favourably in her future bouts, and hopefully challenge for an Olympic medal in Paris, France in 2024, she must add weight.

In the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Ongare lost 5-0 to Irish Magno of Philippines in a one-sided women’s flyweight round of 32, with the Filipino winning the bout through a unanimous decision by all the five judges.

Ongare conceded defeat but exuded confidence that she will bounce back stronger in the next Summer Games after amassing crucial lessons in Tokyo.

“I’m doing fine, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to play my first bout in the Olympics.

Even though I lost in my debut, but as I always say, there’s always a next time,” Ongare said after her defeat.

“However, I’ve learned a lot, and the first lesson I have learned from this competition is that exposure is key in the Olympic Games because the more you play in such high-level competitions, the more you keep improving and become a better and better boxer,” she said.

Ongare who made history in 2018 by becoming the first Kenyan woman to win a Commonwealth Games medal in boxing after winning a bronze medal during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, said that lack of experience and not playing many international bout matches, preferably against European opponents, cost her the early exit from the Tokyo games.

“Since the Boxing Federation of Kenya (BFK) took charge, we participated in only two games, although one was in Africa and the other one in Russia. 

If we could be having more of such games regularly, it could assist and build us a lot because sometimes you may have been in boxing for long but you have just been fighting within Africa and in Africa it’s like our techniques are similar,” said Ongare who became pregnant at the age of 12, but undeterred, she rose to be where she’s today, an Olympian.

She added: “So exposure is very important and featuring in Olympics in itself is a big lesson because I have learned a lot already.

It’s now a must that I have to add weight because in the Olympics there’s no light fly. This means that I must now strive to compete in the fly weight category.

So yes I have the speed but it reaches a time when I’m in action but I lack the required strength.

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