The government has intensified efforts in demonstrating commitment aimed at making Kenya’s preparations towards next year’s Paris Olympics a success,three years after the 2020 rescheduled Tokyo Olympics where Kenya was the best African nation and 19th overall, with 10 medals – four gold, four silver and two bronze – all panned from athletics.
On Thursday morning, Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba attended a retreat meeting with National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and Athletics Kenya (AK) officials in a move seen as a booster towards the country’s medal prospects at the Olympics.
The CS lauded the organizers for setting up the strategy retreat, saying that only a proper plan would ensure that Kenya return good performance at the premier sporting event, that is barely a year away.
“There is no doubt that failing to plan is planning to fail. If you don’t plan, then you are definitely setting yourself up for failure. You know that previously we have paid dearly for not planning well, for doing the classical Kenyan thing of last minute. We are definitely changing this through our #RoadToParis Olympics 2024 plan,” noted the CS.
The CS added that it was important to pay attention to detail and not take anything for granted in the course of planning for the Olympics.
He called on the team to prepare the athletes well, with a keen reminder of the significance of the Olympics to Kenya and the world.
“What these games have done for us in branding our nation and profiling brand Kenya to the world cannot be quantified. The Olympics mean a lot to us as a nation as these games have risen to hold a very special profile in the world diplomatically and politically,” he said.
“The Olympics have been used to make bold diplomatic and political statements that have gone on to shape the history of the world, like the 1976 boycott by 28 African countries, that helped bring an end to the apartheid regime in South Africa,” added former Budalangi MP
The Olympics Committee already disclosed they would send a selected team of Kenyan athletes to pre-Olympic training camps in Southern France to boost Kenya’s medal prospects.
NOCK said it is strategising to field more sports to raise Kenya’s stakes at the quadrennial Olympics.
“We are planning to start training in Southern France about 30-35 days in advance before the Paris 2024 Olympics. The idea is to give our athletes a chance to enhance their qualification chances and allow them to acclimatize ahead of the games.” read part of their previous statement.
Last year in Japan besides athletics, Kenya featured in sevens rugby for men and women, boxing, swimming, volleyball, beach volleyball and taekwondo.
The organisers of 32nd Olympic Games in Japan overcame huge challenges, most significantly rising coronavirus cases and growing opposition to the staging of the world’s greatest sporting spectacle in 2021.