The Head of State further announced a uniform token of Shs 200,000 for all athletes and officials, including the Paralympics team, currently participating in the delayed Summer Games.
The President thanked the Olympians for their outstanding performances that saw Kenya top the African medal chart, pointing out that the team’s success had once again demonstrated Kenya’s sporting prowess.
“We are here to celebrate your victory which is Kenya’s victory. And we are here to congratulate you, to say how proud we are of your performances as individuals and as a team,” President Kenyatta said.
He said the Government will continue partnering with all stakeholders in the sports sector to ensure the country retains its talents by creating a conducive environment and giving good incentives for their performance.
The Head of State called on the Ministry of Sports and all partners to layout a system of identifying and developing sports talent from their formative ages so as to expand the country’s pool of athletes.
“We want to continue to ensure that we not only do our best to retain our athletes but also we are constantly building up our sportsmen and women from an early age,” the President said.
He thanked the World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who was present, for working closely with the Kenyan Government in hosting global sporting events, and expressed optimism that this would lead to Kenya being the first African country to host the world championship.
“We have been honoured to host the world under 20 athletics championship 2021, and it is my profound hope that this will now lay a foundation for Kenya to be the first African country to host the World Athletics Championship,” the Head of State said.
“We will do everything within our power, working with all stakeholders to ensure Kenya becomes the first nation in Africa to host the World Athletics championship. We are slowly moving in that direction,” he added.
Once again, the President urged the Kenyan athletes to always adhere to set international standards by avoiding indulgences that may destroy their careers and the country’s sporting reputation.
“Let us also as we always say, before departing for an event, make sure Team Kenya plays clean and plays fair. If we win by playing clean and playing fair that is not only good for you but is also important for our sports globally,” the President said.
In remarks read by her Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, Sports CS Amina Mohammed thanked President Kenyatta for his commitment to the development of Kenya’s athletes saying the move has continued to ensure the country produces best teams for global events.
She pointed out that the sterling performance of Team Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is as a result of diligence, patriotism and discipline of the athletes and officials that participated in the global sporting event.
“Their hard work over the years, has once again, placed Kenya on the global map, and furthered our reputation as the home of champions,” CS Amina said.
Kenya was the top ranked African country at the delayed Summer Games after garnering a total of 10 medals (4 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze).
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Kenyan team was represented by Gold medalists Peris Jepchirchir (marathon) and Emmanuel Korir (800m) as well as Silver medalists Bridget Kosgei (marathon), Hellen Obiri (5000m), Timothy Cheruiyot (1500m) and Ferguson Rotich (800m).Also present at the State House, Mombasa meeting was Bronze winner Benjamin Kigen (3000m steeplechase).