Kenya is prepared for Tokyo Olympics, says CS Amina

Sports Cabinet Secretary for Sport Amina Mohamed (centre) when she inspected the ongoing construction of Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret yesterday. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The Ministry of Sports has allocated adequate resources in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has assured the country.

Amina said yesterday that the country’s Tokyo Olympic Games team will be kitted early and the technical team funded to avoid embarrassments of late preparation for the global competition.

Kenyan athletes were treated to shambolic preparation in the run up to and during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, but Amina pledged that there will no repeat of the shenanigans.

CS Amina said she has had discussions with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) and the Steering Committee and that the money for the games had been “ring-fenced.”

She said the ministry has also budgeted for the World Under-20 show, which will take place in Nairobi.

Speaking in Eldoret when she inspected the Kipchoge Stadium in Eldoret, Amina said the ministry is waiting for a Cabinet approval of the budget, pledging the funds will be released in time for the preparations.

“We have the funds. The only thing left is for me to take a memo to the Cabinet for approval of the budget because it has to be done at that level,” the CS, who is also the chairperson of the Tokyo Olympic Games Steering Committee said.

She assured NOC-K that the national team’s kits will be ready before they leave the country for Tokyo, Japan.

From left, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, accompanied by Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago, had a word to the constructors after inspecting the ongoing construction of Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret yesterday. 26.01.2021. {Peter Ochieng, Standard}

“Our athletes will have everything to compete and to compete successfully. We can’t, anymore, have issues of our athletes not having their tracksuits, ceremonial dresses and uniforms on time,” said Amina. “We are doing everything that needs to be done and there will be no excuse this time — may be the only challenge could be from the human limitation from their (athletes) part, but we are expecting a lot of medals from Tokyo this year.”

The CS said the amount set aside for the Olympic Games preparations and for hosting the World Under-20 will be disclosed as soon as Cabinet approves the budget.

She expressed confidence that Kenya will successfully bid for the rights to host the 2025 World Championships.

According to CS Amina, Kenya has the bragging rights for hosting the World Under-18 in 2017 and the Continental Tour last year.

She said the country will successfully stage the World Under-20 to boost its chances of hosting the World Championships in 2025.

“We have a very good chance of hosting the World Championships. We stand a good chance because Kenya is a known host of sports events and people from across the world are comfortable coming to our country. They are happy to mingle with our people and they know that this is a good and warm environment to train in, and we have all the facilities,” she said.

On the Anti-Doping Amendment Bill 2020 passed by Parliament late last year, Amina said the country is gaining momentum in the fight against use of banned substances among athletes.

She said, with the amended law, athlete support personnel including agents, managers and coaches will be held responsible alongside athletes found to have doped.

“The whole ecosystem must be treated to the same measures the athletes are treated to.

“We now have a law that is clear that everybody is responsible. We are not going to allow our young athletes to be exposed to dangerous substances without those that are exposing them being held accountable,” she added.

She further warned that the ministry will take unspecified action to suspected match-fixers in Kenyan football.

“Match-fixing is as bad as doping and we will deal with it in the same way we deal with doping. It is not going to be allowed.”

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