Kenya allocates large budget for African Games team

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-14 22:27:30|Editor: Yurou
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NAIROBI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Kenya will send a contingent of 350 athletes and officials to the 2019 African Games, to be held in Rabat, Morocco from August 19 to 30.

It is the biggest Kenyan contingent in the history of the games and the country hopes it will bring in a record haul of medals.

"We will be competing in as many as 22 disciplines. It is the highest number of athletes we have ever registered. The athletes have said they are eager to perform and there is no doubt they will bring home many medals," said sports principal secretary Kirimi Kaberia in Nairobi on Wednesday.

The country has also set aside 400 Kenyan million shillings (4 million U.S. dollars) to cater for accommodation expenses and athletes' allowances.

Kaberia also ruled out cutting down on the number of participants, as Kenya enters athletes in 19 of the 22 disciplines being held in Rabat.

Athletics and Taekwondo had cried foul over demands by the Kenya management committee asking them to reduce their numbers. Taekwondo had had their quota dropped from 16 to 12, but will now send a full squad of eight men and eight women to Morocco.

"The issue of Taekwondo has been settled, but there were no issues in athletics, since they wanted more officials on board rather than athletes," said Kaberia.

The Kenyan government is keen to rein in on the misuse or misappropriation of funds as seen at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, with athletes and coaches left without food and accommodation.

Kaberia said they have followed regulations with regards to allowances paid to athletes.

"There is no secret with what they will be getting and it's my wish that we put issues of allowances behind us, and discuss the performances that we expect in Morocco," said Kaberia.

During the 2015 tournament held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Kenya secured 32 medals - six gold, nine silver and 17 bronze.

This performance was a far cry from the 50-medal scoop at the tenth African Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011.