David Rudisha
David Rudisha

800m World record holder David Rudisha

800m World record holder David Rudisha

Nock Secretary General, Francis K Paul, said it was crucial to secure qualification beyond the traditional track and field events and urged all federations to take the qualification competitions seriously. Qualifications start in May to June 2016.

Nock has prepared a budget of Sh300m to the government, which may be reduced, depending on the number of athletes who will qualify. The amount includes the qualification competition for the 28 disciplines, players? allowances and technical officials? stipend.

?We want to diversify from athletics. It has always been our golden goose, but we want to have stronger representation in swimming, boxing, volleyball and more disciplines.

?But their participation in Rio 2016 is dependent on securing qualification through their respective international federations. These are important competitions and we expect them to notify us starting May which events they intend to compete in to secure their tickets to Rio,? said Paul.

Kenya competed at the 2012 Olympics in London in four disciplines ? swimming, boxing, weigh-lifting and athletics. It was the nation?s 13th appearance at the Olympics since their debut in 1956, and having skipped the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

Nock sent Kenya?s largest delegation to the Games in London, surpassing the record set in Beijing by a single athlete. A total of 47 athletes, 27 men and 20 women, competed in athletics (specifically in the middle-distance events and marathon), boxing, swimming and weightlifting.

Out of the 47-member team, Kenya got 11 medals (two gold, four silver, and five bronze), being the most successful African country on the final overall medal standings. The two gold were won by David Rudisha (800m) and Ezekiel Kemboi (3,000m steeplechase).

Swimmer Jason Dunford, who specialised in the butterfly and freestyle events, did not make it to the final and has since retired from the sport.

Paul said federations need to send in their qualification programmes early for them to act on it in time.

?We want to see volleyball, swimming, boxing, badminton, rugby and more disciplines make the cut to Rio games. Boxing and swimming have several players under scholarships and we must exploit their talent,? he said.

By Chris Musumba, The Standard

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