National baseball coach eyes Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Baseball action. The sport returns to the Olympics in 2020. PHOTO/Courtesy
Baseball action. The sport returns to the Olympics in 2020. PHOTO/Courtesy

National coach Francis Muchiri has welcomed the move by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to approve the addition of baseball as he sets his sights on qualifying his team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that will be held in Japan.

Despite the challenges surrounding baseball in Kenya and stiff competition from East Africa, Muchiri is optimistic his charges will catch up with the rest to ensure that they do not send a substandard team for the Summer Games.

“We are really excited about the event. We had anticipated the addition and had started a programme dubbed ‘Making Champions 2020’ last year and we are still preparing the players.

“Currently we have over 500 players but by the time the Olympics will be closing in we shall have a great team for the Games that we are sure they are going to be world betters so that we can add Kenya’s medal tally.

“The (American) Major League Baseball has confirmed to us that they will be coming to Nairobi to select players to join the elite camp in South Africa in December,” said the coach.

Baseball being a new venture in Kenya no much effort has been put in the development of the sports by the Government to ensure its growth.

However, residents of Kirwiro in Meru Central Sub County donated a 20 hectares piece of land to build Mt Kenya Baseball Complex to add to the only field they have that meets international standards at Meru University in Meru County.

“I hope things will change now that we have been given an opportunity to compete at the Olympics games.

“Uganda have better infrastructures than us, they have a fields that they have been constructed for by Japan, USA and Canada.

“Tanzania are also on board but we all share a common problem when it comes to the sports’ technicalities. We are all focused on improving on the quality of baseball in East Africa.” Muchiri told Citizen Digital.

The five sports that were unanimously approved and are popular sports in Japan include baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding and surfing.

According to the President of The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Yoshiro Mori a total of 18 events will be added.

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