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London 2012 report to be tabled in parliament

NAIROBI, Kenya, December 6- With time running out on the life of the tenth Parliament, Sports Minister, Ababu Namwamba has pledged to table the eagerly awaited report on Kenya’s showing at London 2012 Olympics at the floor of the house before its time lapses early January.

Speaking at his first stakeholders’ round table in Nairobi on Thursday, Namwamba also promised he would commit to ensure the Sports Bill that was scheduled to be taken through its second reading later that day would be enacted into law before the end of next week.

His predecessor Dr Paul Otuoma rejected the first London 2012 report presented by the National Olympics Committee-Kenya in October saying it lacked crucial reasons behind the faltering return that saw the country win 2 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals.

“Making this report public will not be aimed at victimising anyone but laying the ground work on what needs to be done to improve our performance at Rio 2016. I’m committing myself to ensure that the report will be brought to Parliament and the Sports Bill is passed before the tenth parliament lapses,” the minister ascertained.

Namwamba was mortified to learn that similar recommendations prepared at the initiative of the late Sports Permanent Secretary, Kinuthia Murugu, in 2009 were not followed in readying the country’s team for London.

Kenya Hockey Union official, Elynah Shiveka, who was among the committee tasks to prepare the shelved document following the publishing of the Beijing 2008 Olympics report, brought its existence to the minister.

“This report should be used as a template to guide us in preparation for Rio Olympics since we should not be allowing ourselves to forget action after coming up with remedies. I will set up a mechanism to ensure that those who succeed us in the ministry have the guidelines to follow,” Namwamba intoned.

Kenya won 6 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze in China which marked her best return from the quadrennial games, a tally that was well out of reach for the 47 competitors who took part in London 2012 in four disciplines, athletics, swimming, boxing and Mercy Obiero, the wildcard lone female weightlifter.

“We had targeted seven disciplines to compete in London but in the end, only three and another on wildcard got tickets with no team sport involved. This report appeared to have ended when Murugu passed on,” Shiveka lamented.

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While announcing that plans were at an advanced to set up the proposed National Sports Academy in Nairobi that will be the centre of developing budding talent tapped countrywide, Namwamba expressed optimism that Kenya would sent capable golf and rugby sevens team to Brazil.

“In fact, we ar working closely with Kenya Golf Union to train a number of talented junior golfers and their winning performance at the East Africa Championships in Bujumbura is a testament of the fact.

“Our national rugby sevens team has performed exceptionally the opening two legs of the IRB Series in Adelaide and Dubai showing that they have a chance of winning the country an Olympics medal since the two disciplines will be making their Olympics debut,” the minister added.

Kenya has accepted invitation to feature in a $1m (Sh85.7m) top prize tournament in the USA next year upon conclusion of the current IRB World Sevens series that heads to Port Elizabeth in South Africa for the third leg this weekend.

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