Nairobi, Nov 30 (IANS) Kenya’s national Olympic committee has approved a 600 million shillings ($ six million) budget for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
The country also expects to send more than 100 athletes to the July 24 to August 9 Games, reports Xinhua news agency. This will be an increase in representation with Kenya having sent 89 athletes to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
Paul Tergat, National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president, said they have widened the disciplines to compete at the Games beyond the traditional track and field and boxing. So far the country has secured tickets for over 50 athletes in swimming, athletics, rugby women and rugby men.
“Kenya will spend $ 6,000,000 for the preparations and participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” said Tergat. “However, about $2,500,000 will be used for preparations and qualifications purposes.”
Kenya has picked Kurume city in Japan to pitch their training camp and Tergat said there will be teams arriving as early as possible.
More disciplines including shooting, handball, tennis, volleyball and taekwondo are still going through their qualification process and Tergat is confident that there will be a few athletes making the cut to go to Tokyo.
Kenya was represented by 89 athletes, 47 men and 42 women at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where Kenya spent approximately Sh540 million ($5.26 million).
Kenya clinched 13 medals (6 gold, 6 silver, and 1 bronze) in Rio 2016, marking its most successful outcome in Olympic history based on the medal position. All of these medals were awarded to the track and field athletes, with Rudisha successfully retaining his men’s 800 m title.
Tergat said there are new management and hope for the country’s teams and they will start their campaign to redeem their image from Tokyo.
“We want our young athletes to be assured that we have their interest at heart. We will expose them to the best facilities and events so that they have an edge to qualify and win medals at the Olympics,” said Tergat.