Andrew Kooner not only qualified for the Olympic Games at the trials in
Mexico this past April in 51 kilograms but he also discovered he is a medal
contender for Sydney. At those trials it was a foregone conclusion that
Kooner would be eliminated in his first bout. However he upset Omar
Narvaez of Argentina, ranked second in the world, with a stunning 4-1
victory in his opening bout. Just to show that it wasn't a fluke, he
defeated another of the world's best Roberto Benitez of the Dominican
Republic 8-4. He qualified for the Games pounding Alex Espinoza of
"I did some of my best boxing in Mexico," said Kooner, who started the
sport reluctantly at age 13 on the insistence of his mother. "My category
is probably the toughest in the Americas. All the boxers are good. So I'm
feeling right now that I have the capabilities to win the gold medal at the
Olympics. I consider myself a complete fighter and can do whatever is
necessary for me to win."
Kooner experienced his first international success at the 1996 world junior
championships in Cuba. He won the silver medal but lost a controversial
final to a Cuban before a raucous patriotic audience.
Flyweight (51-kg): Andrew Kooner, Tecumseh, Ont., lost second-round bout 11-7 on points to Wijan Ponlid, Thailand.
Flyweight (51-kg): Andrew Kooner, Tecumseh, Ont., def. Nacer Keddam, Algeria, 18-11, in opening-round bout, advanced to next round.
2000 Games Boxing Coverage