A 157-strong, Ksh584m team to represent Kenya in Rio
Kenya will be represented by 95 athletes accompanied by 62 officials at next month’s Rio 2016 Summer Games in Brazil in what is the country’s largest ever contingent to the quadrennial sporting showpiece.
It dwarfs what was the country’s biggest team of 47 competitors in four events that took part at the previous London 2012 edition where Kenya won two gold, four silver and five bronze medals- all from athletics.
The number has been enhanced by the inclusion of the men and women rugby sevens teams with the sport making its Olympics debut in Rio with six of the competitors traveling as guest athletes according to National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) Executive Officer and Team Kenya Chef-de-Mission, Stephen arap Soi.
The total budget to send the team to Brazil according officials is Ksh584m.
“Ksh84m has been sourced from Nock and counties where the teams are training while the Ministry will inject Ksh500m cater for travel, accommodation and allowances,” Principal Secretary in the Sports Ministry, Ambassador Dr. Richard Ekai said on behalf of Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Hassan Wario.
The first batch of the team will leave the country on July 24 with the second and third lots leaving the country on July 31 and August 7.
The Principal Secretary assured preparations for the Games were proceeding smoothly despite the doping crisis as well as reports of unrest in camp and officials jostling to travel to Brazil.
“After the successful trials in Eldoret we visited our teams in their training grounds at the High Altitude Training Camp in Iten and the rugby team in Nandi Hills. The message is that we are preparing well for Rio, nothing will stop us.
“After the exemplary performance at the last IAAF World Championships in Beijing where we became the first African nation to win the overall title, you don’t expect everyone to go singing praises for you.
“This is why we have been portrayed negatively but our athletes are going to be tested three times before going to Rio and they will be tested again once they are there,” declared Ekai.
“If anyone has complaint to raise, like Honorable Korir (Wesley), then it should be made in a formal way as a representation for other athletes and not just commenting on a personal level,” Nock chairman, Dr. Kipchoge Keino, said after the marathoner and team captain admonished officials for maltreatment during the official opening of the camp.
-Kameta staying put-
Meanwhile, Boxing Association of Kenya (BAK) Chairman John Kameta will not be part of the team the Steering Committee for Rio 2016 Team Kenya squad affirmed.
Kameta’s fate was sealed at a consultative meeting at the Ministry’s headquarters on Friday as officials gathered to iron out critical issues in the country’s squad.
“The matter was clearly spelt out that Kameta will not feature in the team, for a candid reason, that he never provided report for the London Olympics for the group he was in charge of,” Soi declared.
At the same time, the men and women rugby sevens team will carry separate officials after a proposal to cross manage the squads was shelved.
Nock had mooted the idea of Benjamin Ayimba handling both teams in a bid to cut the travelling contingent.
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