What you need to know:
- The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat disclosed that 20 athletes mainly from sprints and field events will start training in the bubble at Kasarani.
- Tergat said NOC-K will work with the team to ensure outstanding results are achieved.
Part of Team Kenya for the Tokyo Olympic Games will proceed for residential training on Monday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat disclosed that 20 athletes mainly from sprints and field events will start training in the bubble at Kasarani.
Tergat said they expect close top 46 athletes to join later adding that the next disciplines to join will be the women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, and the men and women’s national sevens rugby teams, Shujaa and Lionesses.
Tergat was speaking at NOC-K Headquarters at Gallant House, Parklands where they presented a cheque of Sh1 million to help in the preparations of the men and women’s marathon teams for Tokyo Olympics.
At hand to receive the cheque was world marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich, who was accompanied by the athletics team manager Benjamin Njoga.
Also present were Chef de Mission for Team Kenya to Tokyo Olympic Games, Waithaka Kioni, general team manager, Barnaba Korir, deputy general team manager, Shoaib Vayani and NOC-K secretary general, Francis Mutuku.
Tergat said NOC-K will work with the team to ensure outstanding results are achieved.
"We want to give the best to our sportsmen and women so that they can train smoothly. Today, we have supported the marathon team since time in running out with only 150 days remaining," said Tergat, adding that individuals in the marathon team shall continue to train separately.
Tergat explained that they will have to conduct Covid-19 tests for all athletes proceeding to the bubble training.
“We are happy that the government has released some funds for the process,” said Tergat, noting that the biggest challenge is the Covid-19 tests that have made their budget for the Tokyo Olympic Games rise.
Korir disclosed that Njoga and his deputy Kennedy Tanui will coordinate the marathon team training with the individual athlete's coaches.
Korir said that 16 sprinters, two race walkers and two javelin throwers are the ones to start bubble training on Monday.
NOC-K had initially presented a budget of Sh 600m to the government but it was later reviewed to Sh 750 million owing to challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic.
“We had given the ministry the budget but the Steering Committee that was named recently will be able to iron out all of these things when it meets. We shall know that by next week,” said Tergat.
It's envisaged that Kenya will take 100 athletes for the Summer Games, an improvement from the field of 89 athletes who participated at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
Already, 80 sportsmen and women have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which include three team sports, Kenya Sevens, Kenya Lionesses and Malkia Strikers.