Japanese city officials to sign deal over pre-games training

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Former Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia (centre) and officials from the Japanese Embassy in Kenya during an event geared towards the Tokyo Olympics in Nairobi. Photo/PD/FILE

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and Kurume City, Fukuoka, in Japan  are expected to sign a deal next month to officially declare the town the training camp ahead of the July 24 -August 9 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Despite Kurume City being away approximately 1,086km by road and 879km by air from the Japanese capital, Tokyo that will host the Summer Olympic Games, NOC-K acting secretary Francis Mutuku is buoyant Team Kenya will benefit fully from the facilities before the Games.

“We entered into a partnership with Kurume City since Tokyo will be very hot during the games. We will take our team there to train and acclimatise one month before we move to Tokyo,” Mutuku told People Sport.

He added: “As NOC-K, we are confident Kenyan athletes will benefit from the Kurume City facility.

The most important aspect is that they will be able to acclimatise ahead of the expected hot conditions in Tokyo. The weather conditions in Karume and Tokyo are fairly similar.”

Technical management

“We are projecting number of 200, that will include over 100 athletes and the technical management. It will be good for all the disciplines that  will qualify  to be accommodated in one place,” added Mutuku, who said from a previous meeting with Hideki Noda, a senior advisor for Kurume Municipal Office Sports Division, Kenya will be given a better deal in terms of accommodation and transportation to the Games venues.

Mutuku said the deal should have been signed early but the body had to wait to see how many federations could have qualified athletes by February and also by the fact that there might be different specifications on camping areas.

“As you know, January and February are very important months in terms of qualifications.

‘Malkia Strikers’ have already secured their qualification. We are currently waiting on progress from boxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and even wrestling who shall be involved in Africans qualifiers,” said Mutuku.

At least 78 athletes have already qualified for the Olympic Games ,consisting two swimmers, 45 track and field athletes and the sevens rugby teams (Shujaa and Lionesses) as well as national women’s volleyball team the ‘Malkia Strikers’.

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