• The IOC explained that the interest of the athletes is paramount and if it requires a sport to be moved from the host City to achieve that then be it.
• "We are discussing Team Kenya’s funding with the ministry rather than taking a confrontational approach. In future we hope money from Sports Fund will be disbursed within 48 hours after it has been approved. That way, it will be easier for planning purposes."— Waithaka Kioni, Team Kenya Chef de Mission.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya is backing IOC's decision to move the marathon and any other event out of Tokyo during the 2020 Olympic Games.
Nock acting secretary-general, Francis Mutuku, said the International Olympic Committee had explained to all NOCs a few weeks ago during the General Assembly why it is necessary to move the marathon and walking races.
" Our athletes were really affected by the high levels of heat and humidity at the recent World Championships in Doha and we are not ready to take a similar route in Tokyo 2020," he said.
He said they expect a worse situation in Tokyo and it is important that they take precautions.
“The IOC explained that the interest of the athletes is paramount and if it requires a sport to be moved from the host City to achieve that, they will consider that. Kenya is big in marathon running and we want our athletes to compete in the best conditions," said Mutuku.
He added: “Nock is therefore supportive of IOC's decision and not just for the marathon, but also any other sport that may be required to be shifted.”
As the quadrennial sports carnival draws closer, Nock has appointed a management team which includes administration manager Susan Kariuki, finance officer Tonny Karuru and programme officer Susan Adhiambo to run the day-to-day activity of Nock. This, he said will give other Nock officials time to do more policy and strategy matter.
Nock executive member Shoaib Vayani and Athlete Representative Humphrey Kayange have been appointed to deputise Chef De Mission Waithaka Kioni. Athletics Kenya’s chairman for youth development, Barnaba Korir, will be the General Team Manager and Winnie Kamau will be his assistant.
Kioni asked federations to request for funds from the ministry according to their needs and in good time. Earlier in the year, the Paul Tergat-led organisation gave grants of sh500,000 to each federation for their Olympic qualification processes.
"As Nock, we agreed on a standard amount to help all the federations in their aspirations to qualify for Tokyo but the amount is too little to cater for the entire process. We, therefore, urge all the federations to request their budgets allocation from the Ministry of Sports and the Sports Fund," Kioni said, urging Mutuku to fast-track sponsorship talks and conclude the deal preferable in the next 30 days to aid in planning.
Kioni said NOCK will announce their budget for the Tokyo Games soon after each federation presents their requirements.
“We are discussing Team Kenya’s funding with the ministry rather than taking a confrontational approach. In future, we hope money from Sports Fund will be disbursed within 48 hours after it has been approved. That way, it will be easier for planning purposes," he added.
Nock will commence management meetings tomorrow with federation officials for budgetary purposes. “We will do it bit-by-bit to avoid queries like what happened to the Rio one,” said Anthony Kariuki, the Nock treasurer.
Meanwhile, Kenya will seal the deal for Team Kenya to train in Kurume City in the first week of February 2020.
“We are talking to Kurume authority and we will have a written agreement in February. We have requested the City to give us more time so that we can be clear with the numbers," Mutuku intimating that Kurume City will cater for the Kenyan contingent’s accommodation, (training) facilities and transport to Tokyo.
Mutuku said AK are already working with their technical personnel to identify events (short races and field events) whose athletes will train in Kurume. At the moment, over 20 athletes and women’s rugby team have qualified.