Athletics Athletics

Sh270m budget for London 2012

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NAIROBI, Kenya, January 10- The National Olympics Committee- Kenya (Nock) has proposed a budget of Sh270m ($3.1m) for the country’s team to the London Olympics.

Nock general secretary, Francis K Paul added the committee had earmarked 13 disciplines for qualification for the summer event.

“The Government is aware of the budget and we are set to meet with Department Of Sport officials this week to discuss preparations for the Olympics. Our aim is to record a better performance than Beijing 2008 by giving all the support we can to the teams,” Paul stated.

He added: “Our target is to send more than 100 competitors and officials but after qualifiers are complete in April apart from athletics who will hold their Trials in June, the number could end up much less and the budget will be adjusted accordingly.”

Kenya is keen on sending archery, tae kwon do, women’s volleyball, canoeing, rowing, table tennis, lawn tennis, boxing, swimming, hockey, Paralympics and the nation’s breadbasket, athletics exponents to London.

“This time, we have put measures in place to ensure that only those who qualify for the games are accredited to travel to discourage the practise of officials taking the Games as a chance to fight for trips,” Paul expressed.

The official said they were placing emphasis on ensuring other sports particularly boxing prepare well for medal assaults in London as the country seeks to break away from over reliance on athletics to provide Olympics glory.

“In Beijing, Kenya was the highest ranked African nation but all the medals were from athletics. We have noted the development made in swimming but boxing that used to be second to athletics has suffered.

“We are speaking to officials of the Amateur Boxing Association in a bid to resolve the wrangling that is affecting preparations and we are even ready to set a camp in Nakuru for the boxers to get into shape,” Paul stressed.

In Beijing, the nation’s talented runners won six gold, four silver and four bronze to place Kenya ahead of all in Africa and Nock are expecting a better return in London.

“Athletics Kenya (AK) have told us that they are working on a programme to win the men 5,000m and 10,000m gold medals in London in addition to retaining all the titles they won in Beijing and we are confident they will deliver.

“Other federations should learn from them and focus on preparing their competitors as opposed to bickering for trips,” the secretary general added.

The national Tae Kwon Do team left for the continental qualifiers that start Wednesday seeking London 2012 tickets while the women’s volleyball team is in residential training in Nairobi ahead of their competition in Algeria.

All Africa Games silver medallist, Gladys Mwaniki, Pauline Zawadi, Steven Karuga and Daniel Wanyoike make up the team martial artists seeking London Olympic slots.

“Last time, lack of concentration cost me a place in Beijing and this time, I have learnt my lessons and I’m keen to fulfil my Olympics dream,” Zawadi who in sudden death to miss out on the grand event four years ago said before their Monday night departure.

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