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Kenyan teams set for bubble training ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Last updated 8 days ago | By AFP

Deputy President William Ruto(3rd right)among other delegation cheers the Kenyan team as they compete during the 2016 Rio Olympic in Brazil. This was on 13/08/2016. [PHOTO BY DPPS]

Kenya's Olympic teams are to start training in specialised bubble camps early March in the run-up to the Tokyo games, officials said on Tuesday.

The camps are to start on March 2 and will see athletes confined to specific areas as they train, to counter the spread of Covid-19.

"The athletics long distance runners will be based in the high-altitude training region around Eldoret, while the team sports, including the men's and women's rugby Sevens, volleyball and Taekwondo do will be based at the Kasarani stadium," the secretary-general of Kenya's National Olympic board Francis Mutuku told AFP.

"The aim of the bubble camps is to cut down the amount of travelling by athletes back to their families from training, and reduce the risk of exposure to the still raging Covid-19 pandemic."

A total of 87 Kenyan sportsmen and women have already qualified for July's Tokyo Olympics, with the number expected to increase as the new sporting season gets underway.

Kenya hopes to take a team of 100 athletes to the rescheduled games which will be held between July 23 and August 8.

Mutuku said the athletes would be tested frequently for Covid-19 while they are in the camp, which will be closed off to outsiders.

President Uhuru Kenyatta hand over Kenyan flag to captains of Kenya Olympic teams to Rio Olympics at State House, Nairobi on Friday 22/07/16.[PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO]

"All the qualified athletes will be tested before they are admitted into the bubble camp."

Kenya, a world athletics superpower finished 15th and as the top African nation at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, with a total of 13 medals: six gold, six silver and one bronze.

Kenya also topped the overall medals table at the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing, for the first time in its history with seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals.

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