Kenya to widen medal scope ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-19 22:07:23|Editor: Yamei
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NAIROBI, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will diversify from traditional sport disciplines and launch a spirited campaign to dominate and navigate new waters after a good showing at the inaugural Africa Beach Games in Sal, Cape Verde.

The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) president Paul Tergat believes aquatic sports, martial arts and field events will be better grounds for Kenya to diversify away from over reliance on athletics ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

"We had challenges in logistics to get the team to Sal, Cape Verde. But we have showed good performance and challenged at the top level, which is inspiring to us. We have secured our first gold medal and we can only build on that ahead of the Tokyo Olympics," Tergat said in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Athletics has remained Kenya's mainstream competition, which they have long dominated.

But Tergat feels widening the medal scope will demand that the country venture into unknown waters and beach competitions is an area Kenya can explore and exploit to challenge giant countries like Australia, United States, China, Russia and Germany.

Kenya bagged silver in the men's half-marathon through Charles Mneria who cut the tape in 1:05:24 while beach tennis team of Fazal Khan and Ibrahim Yego earned a silver medal too.

"We have massive talent in Kenya not only in athletics but also in other sports like what we have witnessed in Sal, tennis team was fantastic. Beach volleyball, canoeing and water surfing," said Tergat.

Tergat hinted on Kenya launching a bid for the Africa Beach Games in future since the country has facilities to hold the continental event.

"Kenya will certainly launch a bid in the future. We have very nice beaches and to host an event of this magnitude will not have too many logistic nightmares. But we will have to wait and study its organization," he said.

Kenya's first batch from the Africa Beach Games have arrived in Nairobi after the conclusion of their events. They include women handball, tennis, Karate and swimming teams.

Beach volleyball starts on Wednesday with Kenya grouped against Cape Verde and Sudan. Beach volleyball player Gaudencia Makokha will pair up with Naomie Too. Makokha said they are up to the task.

"We are ready and we have played together for a long time. We want to qualify for the World Beach Games and a gold medal will just be a bonus," said Makokha.

There are 17 Africa women teams in Sal City battling out for the ticket to World Beach Games.