After meticulous selection, focused and inspirational training, team work and rich rewards beckoning, Athletics Team Kenya to Rio Olympics is ready for glory in the Brazilian capital.
With only 3 days remaining before the Olympic flame is ignited, Kenya’s prospective medal winners are winding up their training this week after the first batch of the contingent left the country on Sunday morning.
Nothing will be left to chance as the second last team jet out of the country this week before action proper starts on Friday where bids for medal would pre-occupy both athletes and fans.
“Pray for us. We have done our best. We have prepared well and it is time for action. But we are asking Kenyans and our fans to keep us in their prayers as we set our sight to competitions,” appealed team head coach Julius Kirwa from the team’s training base in Eldoret.
The IAAF Academy coach, who is heading the technical bench squadron that has been training since the beginning of last month, said the final preparations were excellent and expects the best from team.
“Training in Eldoret was perfect. We had pleasant facilities and good food. This has raised the team spirit despite a few who opted to train on their own, posing a challenge to the coaches,” added Kirwa who
trained the all-concurring Beijing World Championship team last year.
The first group of athlete that included sprinters and walkers left the country on Sunday to Brazil via Angola while the second batch is expected to leave on Sunday using the same route.
Although some competition activities will begin on Friday after the opening ceremony, athletics actions will kick off on Thursday next week with Kenya anticipating the first medal in the women marathon.
The team, which had pitched camp at the International Association of Athletics Federation High Performance Training Centre in Eldoret, is concluding the training on Thursday before shifting the base to Milele Hotel in Nairobi on Friday before the scheduled departure.
During the last Olympics Games in London in 2012, Kenya won only two gold medals through Ezekiel Kemboi in 3,000metres Steeplechase and David Rudisha in the men’s 800metres respectively.
Prospects are high for more medals this year after the government and other stakeholders in the sport offered lucrative rewards to all medalists, team members and officials.