NOC-K to soldier on despite Olympics postponement

Monday, March 30th, 2020 00:00 |
NOC-K Secretary-General Francis Mutuku and treasurer Anthony Karuiki during a past media briefing. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expected to name a new date for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics following cancellations due to the coronavirus, the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has also had to alter its programme to accommodate the changes. 

NOC-K Secretary acting General Francis Mutuku says all 87 qualified members of the initial team will be left untouched with both the sevens men’s and women’s teams, Malkia Strikers, two boxers and as many swimmers as well as a tae-kwon-do athlete among those who have secured their tickets. 

“This virus came at a bad time but we have to live with it regardless. Our preparations have got a bit of a hit but we will rework our programme particularly for those disciplines which we had not entered qualifiers,” said Mutuku. 

He added: “Most of the teams had already qualified and indeed before the COVID-19 pandemic we had built up a plan for an April camp.

The pre-training camp was to be in Japan but now everything changes once we get further instructions from the IOC.” 

Mutuku said most of the Sh600 million budgeted for the Olympics is still intact as no major preparations had taken place. 

NOC-K, however, feels for the athletes who had put a lot into training in anticipation for the Games before they were postponed to 2021.  

“We just have to tell them to work in isolation while following their team managers and coaches programmes.

For most team events like rugby, football and boxing, that is not much of a hassle. In a way, the delayed start to the Olympics might be a good thing because there is time to polish up,” said Mutuku.

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