The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has partnered with Kenya Triathlon Federation to host the African Triathlon Cup Championships on the 27th of November 2022 in Kilifi County.
NOC-K today handed over its sponsorship amounting to Kshs. 927,000 to go towards meeting the costs of the main event, an event held at the NOC-K Headquarters that was attended by top triathletes Aisha Nasser and Joseph Okal.
The continental event is expected to have over 25 Kenyan athletes participating and is organized in partnership with the World Triathlon Federation, African Triathlon Federation, and NOC-K. A total of nine countries have confirmed participation.
This is the first time Kenya will be hosting the African Cup and the Kenya Triathlon Federation is using strategically to assist more Kenyan athletes to get exposure to international standards competition. They will also earn points which will help them improve their world rankings that count in their qualification pathway to Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Speaking while receiving the sponsorship, the Kenya Triathlon Federation Treasurer Mr. Rommel Lukila expressed his elation to be the host of the continental showpiece. “We are very privileged to be hosting the event because the African Cup has never come to Kenya. We are looking forward to a big race and I believe this will help in opening up an opportunity for our athletes who have not had the chance to go out and get a feel of international competition. We are very grateful to NOC-K for agreeing to partner with us which will help us in creating awareness and popularizing triathlon.’’
He added, ‘‘usually, Kenya takes about ten athletes a year to similar ranking competitions, therefore hosting gives the same opportunity for more athletes at reduced costs.’’
NOC-K’s Strategic Action Plan for the period 2021 – 2024 envisions more federations hosting Continental and International Events in Kenya and this fits right into achieving this purpose.
NOC-K Secretary General, Francis Mutuku lauded the move and successful bid by Triathlon Federations to host the African Cup and encouraged more federations to pursue similar opportunities.
“Part of our strategic direction initiative is to improve the exposure of athletes to international competition. We have supported various Federations over the past two months to participate in international and continental events. This support has also been extended to federations that are
hosting tournaments and qualifiers within Kenya. We acknowledge improved performance due to the exposure gained during these competitions.”
Commonwealth Games debutants Joseph Okal and Aisha Nasir who made history as the first Kenyans to ever complete the race will be looking to make a first-time appearance at the event but this time in more familiar terrain. They expressed optimism about putting a good show in the elite race.
“Birmingham offered me a great learning platform where I gained lots of experience and now we have a major competition on home soil. I am sure we will give a good show because we have raced in Kilifi before and we are familiar with the environment,” said Joseph Okal.