NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) have confirmed that so far, a total of 87 athletes have qualified for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games set to be held from July 23 to August 8 August in Japan.
According to Team Kenya’s Chef de Mission, Waithaka Kioni, the qualified athletes will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 tests before being admitted in a bubble training camp for a period of three weeks in preparation for the Summer Games, rescheduled from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The NOC-K is very busy in preparing qualified teams and those teams that are in the qualifying path so far 87 athletes have qualified. Because of the pandemic, training was disrupted last year but now this teams will start training withing the concept of bubble, they will be screened for COVID-19 put in camp two to three weeks released and then come back for about a week get screened again and continue training,” Kioni said on Wednesday as the count down for the Olympic Games commenced.
He added, “we have other federations that are in the qualification patch like judo, rowing, boxing, wrestling and athletics and we believe we are likely to get other qualified athletes, our target is to have delegation of at least 100 athletes to travel to this games.”
With 198 days left to the Tokyo Olympics, Kioni confirmed that the federation’s mother organization held a meeting that was chaired by the Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed who assured them that the event will be fully funded by the government.
“We had a fruitful meeting chaired by the ministry of sports CS Amina Mohamed and in that meeting she gave NOC-K assurance that the government will fully support this event and they are currently considering the budget which we have submitted to them and we believe by the end of this month proper systematic training will commence in respect of those who have qualified and those who are in the qualification path,” Kioni, who is also the Kenya Volleyball Federation boss stated.
Some track athletes have already secured tickets to Tokyo alongside the Kenya national rugby men and women teams as well as the national women’s volleyball team.
NOC-K is aiming to record better results compared to the last Olympic Games held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil four years ago, where Kenya collected a total of 13 medals; six gold, six silver and a single bronze medal.