Focus on Olympics success

The Kenyan team for the Paris Olympics and Paralympic Games must now focus on delivering a good performance devoid of sideshows upon receiving the national flag from President William Ruto on Friday at State House, Nairobi.

Around 10,500 athletes will compete in 32 sports at the Olympics starting on July 26 to August 11. The Paralympics, that will draw 4,400 athletes, will run from August 28 to September 8 in the French capital.

A total of 83 Kenyan athletes had qualified by June 30 in six sports for the Olympics while 11 para athletes had punched their tickets to Paris with more expected.

Kenya was represented by 85 athletes in six sports at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that were pushed to 2021 owing to Covid-19 while nine para athletes represented the country in three sports at the Tokyo Summer Games. While Kenya will take part in six disciplines at the Olympics, Paralympics participation has improved to five sports; athletics, rowing, tae kwon do, cycling and power-lifting.

As members of team start to leave tonight for pre-Olympic camp in Miramas, France, we hope that the teams have had good preparations and will be able to pick up good results.

There was a drop in performance in Tokyo where the country collected 10 medals — four gold, four silver and two bronze at the Olympics and only one medal, bronze, at the Paralympics. The 2016 Rio Olympics was Kenya’s best outing ever with 13 medals — six gold, six silver and one bronze.

Kudos to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) for facilitating high-performance training for most of the athletes and teams with some having starting camp three months earlier. We hope that the team’s travel and accommodation will be seamless and that the government will effect the long overdue proposed increase in allowances.