NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – Kibabii University third year student Faith Ogalo is out to seal Olympic Games slot when the Kenya Taekwondo team compete at the qualification Games in Rabat, Morocco from February 22-23.
Ogalo, who studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work, said she is determined to go to the 2020 Tokyo Games after making her international debut at the All Africa Games in Morocco last year.
“We have trained well since the African Games in Morocco. There was a selection process soon after the Africa Games where the coaches selected five of us, four for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics, which gave us adequate time to prepare,” said Ogalo.
“Though the journey has been difficult, but through the help of the coaches and the federation we are working well and hopefully we will do even better at the qualifiers,” added the middle heavy artist.
Ogalo was chosen in that weight category at the expense of two other competitors due to her experience and know-how.
Kenya Taekwondo Federation President Suleiman Sumba is confident his fighters will make the cut for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when they start their qualifiers for the games at the
Sumba highlighted the performance of the team during the Fujihira Championships in Dubai as among the reasons for his optimism in his taekwondo squad.
“We took part at the Fujihira Championships which is a world-class Taekwondo event and to even have one of our ladies win a bronze shows we are ready for the upcoming qualifiers,” remarked Sumba.
“We have received support from the government, from Noc-K as well as other institutions. Now it is up to the team to show what they are capable off.”
The taekwondo president confirmed that five fighters for both the Olympics and Paralympics team will travel to Morocco on Monday accompanied by seven coaches
“In taekwondo, we are very gender-sensitive and as such, we will have two males and two females in the Olympics qualifiers and one male in the Paralympics category. We are a very well-balanced squad,” explained Sumba
With each nation guaranteed only two slots to try and qualify for the Tokyo games, Sumba maintained that they have maximised their slots and had every reason to be confident on his charges potential to qualify for the games.
The two were speaking at the CID Training School in South ‘B’ when the received kit from National Olympic Committee of Kenya secretary general Francis Mutuku and treasurer Anthony Kariuki.
“We have faith in you. Just give 100 per cent in the qualifiers. Most importantly, you will be flying the Kenyan flag. All the best,” Mutuku told the team.
Male; Newton Maliro, Edwin Lemiso, Innocent Wafula (Olympics)
Peter Kabane (Paralympics)
Female; Faith Ogalo, Everlyn Aluoch, Sharon Wakoli
Coaches; Moses Muturi, Gerald Marangu, John Kamotho