Kenya to send 123 athletes to Birmingham Commonwealth Games
Nairobi — Kenya will send a delegation of 123 athletes to this year’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham, UK.
In a bid to improve the 2018 outing in Gold Coast where the country won 17 medals (4 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze) to finish 14th overall, 20 sports teams will share the allocated slots based on their current performance and previous performance.
Athletics, which is the most successful sport in the country, took a huge part of 45 athletes, with the rest of the disciplines given the remaining 78 places.
To get the ball rolling, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has defined two pillars that will guide the team currently in residential camp at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.
NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku revealed in a press release on Wednesday that the committee is preparing to send a dynamic and well-prepared team “with two key objectives looping in their minds; to be on the podium and to build depth for the future.
“We have jointly agreed with the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage that we aim to improve performance at the Games. NOC-K has been closely monitoring the team selection criteria to ensure that the best Kenyan athletes are selected to represent the country,” Mutuku said.
“We don’t just offer technical training to athletes; we take the opportunity to introduce education and awareness topics to athletes. Part of the training will include medicine, elite performance, financial literacy, etiquette, mental well-being and media relations,” the SG added. .
“We are working closely with ADAK to protect and support clean athletes, so that we can ensure the integrity of sport in the country. Testing is on schedule, ADAK has secured the necessary resources and Kenya should be fully compliant,” he added. Mutuku said.
The Chef de Mission of the Kenya team for the Birmingham Games, John Ogolla, for his part, assured of his commitment to prepare well for the emblematic Games.
“As the local camp started on May 21, most of the teams are in Kasarani. Sports with training facilities not near Kasarani are facilitated to train at satellite sites,” the CDM said.
In addition, the head of mission spoke about the preparations in Birmingham.
“The Kenyan team will be in three villages which gives us additional logistical and administrative needs but we are planning enough for this. The villages are at the University of Birmingham, University of Warwick and NEC hotels from Birmingham. Sports are split between villages based on proximity to competition venues.”
As of Wednesday, May 25, 10 teams had come to Kasarani namely; Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Hockey, Weightlifting, 3X3 Basketball, Wheelchair Basketball, Para-Athletics, Para-Powerlifting, Para-Cycling.
Lawn bowling, squash, swimming and beach volleyball will train at satellite camps.
Teams that have yet to show up for camp are athletics, triathlon, badminton, rugby and table tennis. Rugby and table tennis are in competition overseas, while the others have yet to select their final teams.
The Marathon team is the only confirmed athletics team and is already training in its various camps in Ngong, Kapsabet, Iten and Nyeri.
Speaking on athlete welfare and government funding, NOC-K Senior Vice President Shadrack Maluki confidently said NOC-K’s commitment is to put athletes at the center of operations.
“We thank Sports CS Amb. Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo through the Ministry of Sports who ensured that we were settled into the camp and preparations for the Games were underway,” Maluki revealed. .
“The main funding for the Commonwealth Games comes from the government. The budget has gone through the required approval process, with NOC-K ensuring that we take care of the critical needs of the team while remaining prudent,” Maluki added. .
Team Kenya will face 71 Commonwealth countries and territories expected at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, in their 17th showpiece of the Games, on July 28, 2022.