Today, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) is on my mind and I must say they have done well in as far as preparations for July’s Tokyo Olympic Games are concerned.
The umbrella body for local federations has been busy since last year and, to be honest, we continue to feel their presence, unlike in the past.
Every federation, and especially those with teams headed for Olympic Games, have in one way or another benefited from NOC-K’s generosity and we feel we are on the right track. This has not only been financial back-up, but also material and moral support.
Teams like boxing, athletics, taekwondo, shooting, rugby, volleyball, canoeing, table tennis and tennis among others will tell you that NOC-K has been part and parcel of their daily training.
However, today I chose to speak for athletics even though I am the General Team Manager for “Team Kenya” to the Olympic Games.
Care and support
Specifically, it’s an open secret that NOC-K have taken their role as the umbrella body seriously and the number of trips we have had to make to marathon camps in Rift Valley have been amazing.
I am talking about our marathon team that is currently in training at different spots in the Rift Valley. Unlike in the past, the team feels very much part of the country as has been exhibited by the care and support from NOC-K in the recent days.
Only the other day, NOC-K gave a sponsorship of Sh1 million to marathoners to kick-start the training for the recently named squad.
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Individually, each marathoner received Sh125,000 to help them in training and various preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games, whose marathon and race walk competitions will be held in Sapporo.
The marathon men’s team is led by world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Amos Kipruto, 2019 Boston and Chicago Marathons winner Lawrence Cherono and 2020 London Marathon runners up Vincent Kipchumba.
The women’s cadre has world champion Ruth Chepng’etich, two-time London Marathon champion and world record holder Brigid Kosgei, world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir and 2018 London Marathon champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who completes the star-studded team from whom a lot is expected.
I must say this kind of support will go a long way in ensuring the country maintains its stranglehold on marathon titles come the Olympic Games in Tokyo after our success at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2015.