Preparation key as Kenya marks 100 days to Paris Olympic Games

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 18 – Kenya has marked 100 days to this year’s Olympic Games, with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) saying it will do the best it can to ensure teams are best prepared.

Kenya marked the ceremony at the Uhuru Park Wednesday night, with sportsmen, officials and sponsors converging to celebrate the occasion, which reigning marathon Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge described as crucial.

Kipchoge was among the guests at the ceremony, others including African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala, London Marathon queen Mary Keitany, Olympic silver medalist Julius Yego, Malkia Strikers star hitter Sharon Chepchumba as well as Shujaa players being some of the top guests.

“When I was doing my research, I found out that 100 days are crucial because in the old days, when women gave birth, then next 100 days were crucial because most infants died at this age. We have now started 100 days and we must ensure this baby does not die,” Kipchoge said, as he addressed the guests.

The former marathon world record holder is looking forward to defend his title in Paris, where he hopes to become the first man to win three back to back Olympic gold medals.

Meanwhile, NOCK Secretary General Francis Mutuku has urged for more support to enable the team to be ready, thanking the government and corporate sponsors who have so far put their eggs in the basket.

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Secretart General Francis Mutuku. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“Olympics is about participation and we need everyone to be behind the athletes and not to just wait at the finish line waiting to criticize. We are calling everyone to come on board and support us. Before that medal is won, there is a big aspect of preparation,” Mutuku said.

National women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers as well as the men’s rugby team Shujaa have already qualified, as well as fencer Alexandra Ndolo who will be representing Kenya for the first time ever.

The women’s 3×3 basketball team is currently in Miramas for training ahead of the final round of qualification in Japan next month, while the women’s rugby team, Lionesses are also set to play the repechage qualification tournament.

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Team Kenya Chief de Mission for the 2024 Olympic Games Shadrack Maluki. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“As NOCK, this time round we have ensured we have given teams maximum financial support to help them not only qualify but also prepare well. We have started early and not just waited for when qualification is done,” Mutuku further said.

His sentiments were echoed by Kenya’s Chief de Mission to the Games, Shadrack Maluki, who says NOCK will give maximum support to the athletes to ensure the country stands a good chance to rake in more medals.

Meanwhile, French ambassador to Kenya Arnaud Suquet has reiterated that the embassy will do its best to facilitate athletes, officials and Kenyans wishing to travel to France for the Olympic Games with eased visa procedures.

Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“If you will not be at the Olympics, it will not be because of a visa. France is ready for the world. It is the City of love but this year, it will be the city of sports. This is going to be a very unique Olympic especially with the opening ceremony which will be hosted outside a stadium for the first time ever. We are looking forward to a great time,” said the Ambassador.

He also disclosed that there will be several watch parties in Nairobi, working in conjunction with the county government.

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