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L-R: Carol Akinyi, Kanyali Ilako, Geoffrey Kimani, Mercy Barwecho and Rosemary Owino. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Athletics

NOCK unveils five-member athlete support team for Tokyo Olympics

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – In its quest to ensure that Kenya is aptly prepared for the Tokyo Olympics in July, the National Olympic Committee (NOCK) on Tuesday unveiled a five-member team that will offer technical support to athletes from training to the actual competition.

NOCK has identified several experts in the fields of nutrition, medical, psychology and conditioning to help the team prepare as well as it can for the Tokyo Games.

Carol Akinyi has been handed the mantle of being Team Kenya’s Chief Medical Officer while Mercy Barwecho will be the team’s chief nutritionist.

Renowned Strength and Conditioning coach Geoffrey Kimani, who has been working with NOCK on consultancy basis has been confirmed as the head of Kenya’s fitness team.

Former swimmer Kanyali Ilako will be the team’s psychologist while award winning tennis coach Rosemary Owino will head the Sports Science department.

“Olympics is once in four years and we want to see that we give the best to our sportsmen so that they can go participate, compete and bring the medals for us. We need to make sure that we bring in people who are experts to support our sportsmen going forward,” NOCK boss Paul Tergat said as he unveiled the team.

This is the first time that Kenya will have such a crew of experts accompanying it to the games and the five are already in work as several teams go into bubble training at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.

So far, the men and women’s rugby sevens teams, the volleyball teams, two boxers and a few selected athletes have already qualified for Tokyo and are intensifying their training at the Kasarani Complex.

However, Team Kenya’s Chief de Mission Waithaka Kioni has admitted it hasn’t been 100pc efficient in trying to create a safe bubble environment but notes that they are doing their best possible to ensure that the team trains in a bio-secure environment.

“We have made sure that there is little interaction between the athletes and the outside world but it has been very difficult to ensure that we don’t have interaction. As much as the athletes are in residential camp, some of the support staff especially from the hostels are not residents so it is difficult to monitor. But we are doing the best we can,” Kioni stated.

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