Cut-throat competition in race to secure Olympics slot

Ahead of the Olympic games slated for Tokyo, Japan from July-August this year, Kenya’s Chef de Mission for the global sporting extravaganza Waithaka Kioni, has disclosed that a total of 88 athletes have so far qualified for the competition with the rest seeking to secure remaining slots during the upcoming qualifiers for boxing, canoeing, table tennis, judo and karate.

Speaking on Friday morning during a session where National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) was having a Federation Consultative meeting at a Nairobi hotel, Kioni who also doubles up as the Deputy President of NOCK, said Kenya will be represented by a strong team.

“We have a good number of athletes going to Tokyo despite this time of Covid-19.

So far 88 athletes have qualified;47 from Athletics,2 boxers, 24 from rugby,2 swimming and 1 from Taekwondo and the Volleyball team Malkia Strikers with other more qualifiers coming up very soon” he said.

Kioni, the Kenya Volleyball Federation President has vowed in the past that every coin used for the games would be accounted for to avoid any risk of a repeat of the corruption scandal that marred Rio 2016.

The country’s performance was overshadowed by a kit fiasco as well as misappropriation of funds that eventually landed senior NOCK officials Francis Paul and Stephen Soi in court.

“As the Chef de Mission, I can assure you that I will not tolerate it. We would not want to tarnish our own reputations and that of NOCK, each of us in the executive committee has a reputation which we have built over the years and will not allow our reputations to be spoilt by one or two people.” he was previously quoted in one of the local dailies.

The NOC-K Treasurer Eliud Kariuki, on his part also emphasized the importance of transparency and prudent use of resources allocated by the government to the organizers of the summer championship.

“We are doing things different, we want to be as open, transparent and credible as we can. These are our athletes, and we want them performing at their level best.” he stated.

Kenya registered its third best Olympic showing at Rio 2016, earning 15th place overall in the medals table with six gold, six silver and one bronze.

  

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