NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 –Kenya’s marathon team for the Tokyo Olympics has received a shot in the arm after the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) handed the star-studded squad Ksh1 million for the preparations.
World marathon champion Ruth Chepng’etich received the cheque on behalf of the team of four men and women named by Athletics Kenya earlier this week.
“Preparations are going on well, I want to make sure that I bring gold for Kenya. As part of my preparations, I am planning to attend one international race in April. We will work as a team, and I am urging the rest of my team mates to work hard, to make sure we bring the medals to Kenya,” Chepng’etich said.
The men’s team is led by world record holder and Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge who will team up with world bronze medalist, Amos Kipruto, Boston and Chicago marathon champion Lawrence Cherono as well as London Marathon silver medallist Vincent Kipchumba.
In the women’s corresponding team, Chepng’etich will be joined by world record holder and two-time London marathon champion Brigid Kosgei, world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir and 5000M Olympic champion Vivian Cheruiyot.
The marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games will be ran at Sapporo Odori Park, Japan, on Saturday August 7 for the women and Sunday August 8 for the men.
“We congratulate the eight athletes who have been named to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Team. Your selection has not come easy, but you have satisfied the technical bench. We know that Olympics comes once in four year, therefore this is a great opportunity for all of you to be selected to participate and represent the country. As NOC-K we will spare nothing to ensure that we give you the technical support that you require from our end so that you can achieve your career dreams,” Tergat a former marathon world record holder assured.
He added, “Today, we demonstrate this commitment with financial support for your training logistics going forward. Now the real work has just begun for you as you singularly and as a team put all your focus and plans to the ultimate prize of a medal in Tokyo.”
Tergat called on corporate support for the Olympic Team, “I would like to encourage the corporate world and individuals to join us by way of sponsorship and donations towards making Team Kenya preparations and participation in the Olympics a resounding success. Olympics is a very expensive exercise, and these are the people who are going to carry the flag for our country. Therefore, it is our duty to ensure that they carry the flag proudly.”
Tergat was accompanied by the Chef De Mission Waithaka Kioni, General Team Manager, Barnaba Korir and Deputy CDM, Shoaib Vayani.