AK target larger team in Tokyo
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jack Tuwei has said the federation is striving to give sprinters opportunities to secure qualification time for Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in Japan in under three months.
He said part of the plans the federation had laid down, intended to assist the athletes meet their targets, included ensuring that they competed in races outside the country.
“We are in talks with different federations mostly in Africa where we intend to send our sprinters to go and challenge themselves, we believe such exposure and competing with other top athletes will push our own further,” said Tuwei.
He singled out national 100m champion Mark Otieno who was recently in Zambia where he set a new record in an invitational event.
“We are happy with what Otieno is doing, we are even happier because he cleared with the federation and even got our blessings. We are hoping more athlete will be able to get the opportunity,” he said.
Tuwei spoke after Kenya submitted the final entries for the World Relays Championships slated for May 1-2 in Silesia, Poland.
“The deadline for submission of entries was on Tuesday night. I must say we are contented with the team we settled on.
It is unfortunate we were not able to have the national trials as earlier intended, but given the circumstances, I must commend the technical team for a job well done,” he said.
AK selected a team of 31 athletes for the global showpiece after holding time trials last Friday at Kasarani and Tuwei saying the team will said the federation will deliver at the biannual event.
The sprinters are part of the sportsmen and women that have been training in a Covid-19 bubble at Kasarani since late February.
Tuwei revealed Kenya will not send teams in the 4x100m event having failed to secure qualification for the teams since the national trials were shelved owing to the government’s directive to suspend sporting activities in the country over the coronavirus crisis.
“We are hopeful sports will resume very soon so that our athletes can get the chance to qualify either through our locally organised calendar of events or even in selected events outside the country,” noted Tuwei.
At the same time Tuwei had kind words for the uniformed institutions like Kenya Police and Kenya Defense Forces for agreeing to release recently recruited athletes to join the world Relay team.