Ababu hopes Team Kenya will bag more medals in Budapest

CS for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Ababu Namwamba handing over Kenyan flag to Athletics Kenya President Rtd Jackson Tuwei, Capatain Julius Yego and Women Captain Emily Ngii at his office ahead of the 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.  [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Be ready for more song and dance at this year’s Budapest World Championships because the Kenyan cast is well prepared, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has said.

The Sports CS said he was confident that Kenya will increase its medal tally at the 2023 Budapest World Championships on Saturday.

Last year at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, Kenya bagged ten medals – two gold, five silver, and three bronze.

Ababu cited the strict national selection criteria, prompt payment of the team’s allowances, and rigorous training in camp as the country’s key steps in the formation of a formidable cast to Budapest.

“I have high expectations for Team Kenya. We have prepared the team well. The national selection was one of the best. Some athletes have already left the country and we have made sure that their allowances were paid on time. The Kenyan team is in good form and we expect the best,” he said.

Ababu said Team Kenya was in camp for a longer period, a decision he said, gave the country’s squad adequate time to prepare.

A bigger number of the track and field squad has been in a residential training camp in Nairobi for at least three weeks which started soon after the national trials that were staged on July 7 and 8 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The marathon team led by Tokyo Marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru and Milano Marathon winner Titus Kipruto have been preparing for the Budapest contest in their high-altitude training bases since mid-June.

Part of the team left the country for Budapest, Hungary four days ago.

Speaking during the Devolution Conference sports extravaganza at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret on Tuesday, Ababu said the team will be in Budapest in time for the contest.

“I have already wished them good luck as they carry our country’s flag high in Budapest. I am confident that their performance will be much better in last year’s World Championships,” Ababu said.

He went on to say: “This time, the team was in camp for a longer period and have prepared well for what is awaiting them in the global showpiece.”

Ababu said to continue the athletics talent production, his ministry has begun upgrading and modernization of sports facilities.

He however said he was dissatisfied with the current state of sports facilities, but pledged to improve them.

“I am still not satisfied with the state of our country’s sports facilities. Huge amounts of money were spent but we didn’t see significant progress. We are now beginning to make progress. Kakamega Homeboyz and Al Hilal of Libya in the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup will be played in Nyayo Stadium, an indication that we are making progress.

“We inherited a rotten sports system and we are trying to reverse the trend,” he said.

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