Athletics: Team Kenya begins bubble training at Kasarani


Athletics: Team Kenya begins bubble training at Kasarani
Ferguson Rotich wins the men's 800m during the Athletics Kenya Relay Series held at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on February 6, 2020. (PHOTO/Sportpicha)

In Summary

  • Team Kenya's athletics is the first team to go into  bubble camp that will last for two weeks at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as preparations for 2021 Summer Olympics gathers steam.
  • Volleyball and rugby players will be next to join residential camp.
  • Athletics Kenya have sent some 33 athletes to the camp, in the following disciplines; 100m, 200m, 400m, 20km walk men and Javelin throw. The athletes will be accompanied to camp by their coaches, team manager, and technical team.

Team Kenya’s athletics is the first team to go into  bubble camp that will last for two weeks at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as preparations for 2021 Summer Olympics gathers steam.

Volleyball and rugby players will be next to join residential camp.

Athletics Kenya have sent some 33 athletes to the camp, in the following disciplines; 100m, 200m, 400m, 20km walk men and Javelin throw. The athletes will be accompanied to camp by their coaches, team manager, and technical team.

According to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) the number of athletes has been reduced according to the safety protocols and availability of rooms at the Stadion Hotel in Kasarani.

Athletes are set to undergo a Covid-19 test on arrival at the camp and will thereafter sign an agreement to abide by the set protocols and rules. Athletes who will break the rules will be kicked out of the residential camp.

“Our first priority is to protect the health and safety of our athletes, as much as we need them to start training, it will be of no use to spend so much time and resources to train and then jeopardize an individual’s or team’s chances of participating at the Olympics in Japan,’ remarked Barnaba Korir, the General Team Manager of Tokyo 2020 while addressing Team Managers  Monday in a conference call.

Korir said the athletes who are going into training are the best prospects to make into the Tokyo team, who have satisfied Athletics Kenya technical conditions. Each discipline will be required to produce about three athletes who will travel to Tokyo.

Currently, only the marathon team has been named. AK confirmed a team of eight; four women and four men who will make up the final team that will represent the country in Sapporo, Japan. The men’s team comprises; Eliud Kipchoge, Amos Kipruto, Lawrence Cherono, and Vincent Kipchumba.

The women’s team on the other hand comprises; Brigid Kosgei, Ruth Chepngetich, Peres Jepchirchir and Vivian Cheruiyot.

Most of the athletes in the marathon team are currently training in different parts of the North Rift.

The Kenya 7s men’s and women’s teams will be expected back from Spain today, after which they will also head straight to camp, albeit in a separate location, to manage the numbers required in a camp according to the Covid protocols.

At the same time, the team managers of the Olympic teams were trained on the Tokyo Playbook two weeks ago.

The Playbooks describe the COVID-19 countermeasures expected to be adhered to during the Games and the role of stakeholders in ensuring safe and successful games, with a list of guidelines and stakeholder journey before they travel to Japan, entering Japan, during the Games and on departure from Japan.

NOC-K with the support of the National Federations and the team managers, are also putting the COVID19 standards similar to the playbook, so that athletes and officials start getting used to the same standards that will be required in Tokyo.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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