•All the country’s representatives in boxing, taekwondo, rugby and volleyball (indoor and beach) have all been decimated
•Globally, sports is perceived as a multi-billion industry in which talents are identified as young as four and nurtured to fruition
National boxing team captain Nick “Commander” Okoth wept on Saturday after bowing out in his round of 32 bout against Mongolian Erdenebat Tsendbaatar.
His tears set in motion a painstaking week for Kenya, as the country’s representatives in boxing, taekwondo, rugby and volleyball (indoor and beach) have all been eliminated.
We may argue that athletics — the source of most of the country’s medals — is yet to start and our athletes will soon light up the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. However, for a nation claiming to be a sports powerhouse, this should not be our mentality.
What the first week of the Olympics has taught us is the need for serious investment in sports in terms of proper pre-tournament preparations, talent nurturing and adequate remuneration.
Granted, the government — in collaboration with various corporates — came on board to provide Team Kenya with the required resources for their preparations. However, this should be the norm and not an exception. And it should rotate around the Olympic cycle.
Sports is perceived as a multi-billion industry in which talents are identified as young as four and nurtured to fruition.
Investment in modern equipment is paramount to enable youngsters move in tandem with the evolving technical aspects of their disciplines. There are no two ways about it.