What you need to know:
- As part of the local measures, NOC-K said journalists will not be allowed into the Team Kenya bubble camps.
- “NOC-K is consulting the Sports Journalists’ Association of Kenya on the best way to service the media with information about the camps,” the Olympics body said.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) Monday launched a two-week bubble training camp for Team Kenya squads preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Track and field athletes are the first in camp after going through pre-camp screening and will be joined by the volleyball and rugby teams.
A statement from NOC-K Monday explained that bubble training camps are following the highest level of safety procedures laid down by NOC-K’s “Tokyo Operations Team.”
“It has necessitated the reduction of athletes who can check into the first camp, to manage the numbers according to safety protocols and availability of rooms at the Stadion Hotel,” the statement said.
“Each athlete will undergo a Covid-19 test on arrival at Kasarani and will be allocated single room accommodation at the Stadion Hotel, as they await the Covid test results,” the statement said.
“Once the test results are out, the athletes will now be paired into a double room, to make space for another team to check in.”
NOC-K noted that the athletes and officials will be required to sign an agreement to agree to and abide by the Covid-19 prevention procedures and protocols while in camp, failure to which they would be ejected.
“Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of our athletes. As much as we need them to start training, it will be of no use to spend so much time and resources to train and then jeopardize an individual’s or team’s chances of participating at the Olympics in Japan,” Barnabas Korir, Team Kenya’s general team manager to the Tokyo Games, stressed Monday while addressing team officials in a conference call.
Athletics Kenya have identified a squad of 33 Olympic probables for the bubble camp, mainly sprinters, field athletes and race walkers.
So far only the men’s and women’s marathon teams have been named for the Tokyo Games with the star-studded men’s team featuring world record holder and defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, World Championships bronze medalist Amos Kipruto, Boston Marathon champion Lawrence Cherono, and Vincent Kipchumba, second in last year’s London Marathona and winner of the Amsterdam and Vienna marathons.
The women’s team is also led by a world marathon record holder, Brigid Kosgei, and also has world marathon champion Ruth Chepng'etich, world half marathon champion and world record holder Peres Jepchirchir and Vivian Cheruiyot, a multiple world track champion and winner of the 5,000 metres gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
NOC-K noted that the men’s and women’s sevens rugby teams that have been camping in Spain are expected this week and will immediately report to camp at separate locations “to manage the numbers required in a camp according to the Covid protocols.”
Sources in Tokyo indicate that the Olympic organisers will make a final announcement on whether or not the Olympics will be held next month, exactly three months ahead of the July 23 to August 8 Games.
The Tokyo organisers recently released a “Tokyo Playbook” that highlights Japan’s strict Covid-19 prevention measures which include barring Olympic delegations from using public transport and the requirement for all individuals to take regular Covid-19 tests during the Games.
“The team managers of the Olympic teams were trained on the Tokyo Playbook two weeks ago,” NOC-K said in their statement Monday.
“NOC-K with the support of the national federations and the team managers, are putting the Covid-19 standards similar to the playbook so that athletes and officials start getting used to the same standards that will be required in Tokyo.”
As part of the local measures, NOC-K said journalists will not be allowed into the Team Kenya bubble camps.
“NOC-K is consulting the Sports Journalists’ Association of Kenya on the best way to service the media with information about the camps,” the Olympics body said.