Advance Kenyan party of athletes arrives safely in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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The first batch of Kenyan athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games has hit the ground running after arriving safely in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday evening.

The delegation of 60 athletes and officials that left the country on Sunday morning was received by the team’s Chef de Mission, Stephen Soi.

All arrangement for Team Kenya to settle in the Olympic Village have been finalised.

Mr.Soi said that members of the technical teams of the disciplines involved have already had time to visit various training facilities.

Others were the judo, archery and weightlifting teams, comprising one athlete each, and a three-man boxing squad.

Sevens rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba said the team will embark on training once the players have had enough time to rest.

For the first time in recent years Kenya has a realistic chance of bagging a team medal at the Olympics.

Kenya Sevens can take confidence from their splendid performance at the last two Sevens World Cups.

Pooled in group C alongside World champions New Zealand, who are also 2014 Commonwealth silver medalists, England and Japan in the 12-team Rio rugby competition, the Benjamin Ayimba coached charges will be buoyed by their scintillating show at the Singapore Sevens in April, which saw them claim the Main Cup for the first time in their history beating Fiji 30-7 in the final.

At the same time, the next batch of athletes that was scheduled to leave the country on July 31 could have their date of departure pushed forward by a week.

This group is largely made up of track and field athletes who have been training at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret since the team was named at the national trials last month.

But with the athletics programme in Rio set to get underway on August 12, seven days after the games opening ceremony, the athletics team is looking at the possibility of rescheduling their departure date to August 7.

However, Nock secretary general, FK Paul, said no final decision has been arrived at and the tentative date of the contingent’s departure remains August 31.

The women’s 10,000m team will have the enviable task of jumpstarting Kenya’s gold rush on day one of the athletics programme on August 12.

The team will be led by 10,000m world champion Vivian Cheruiyot, with US-based Betsy Saina and African champions Alice Aprot providing the supporting cast.

Next will be the women’s marathon team which will enter the fray on August 14. The team of three comprises world silver medallist and Tokyo Marathon champion, Helah Kiprop, London Marathon champion, Jemima Sumgong, and 2016 Paris Marathon winner, Visiline Jepkesho.

All three athletes were part of the Kenyan team at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

First Delegations arrive in Rio, Olympic village welcomes its first residents!

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More than 10,000 athletes will stay in the village of 31 apartment blocks close to the Olympic Park in Barra, in the west of Rio, during the Games.

And welcoming them was a Brazilian Olympian. Basketball legend and “mayor” of the village, Janeth Arcain, who experienced four athletes’ villages and won a silver medal at Atlanta 1996 and a bronze at Sydney 2000 for Brazil.

The first delegations to arrive will each be welcomed with a special 45-minute ceremony this week including a presentation of their flag and the Olympic anthem before the chefs de mission sit down with Arcain.

The village has been designed for the athletes’ every convenience including a laundry, florist, bank, post office, a beauty salon and a 24-hour dining hall, which has room for almost 7,000 and will serve more than 60,000 meals a day.

Noise restrictions will be in place at the village during the Games while athletes will also have around-the-clock access to 1,800m2 of gym area.

It will also feature the IOC Space, where a welcome team will be on hand to offer support and a Welfare Officer will be available to offer pastoral care and assistance.

The IOC Olympic Athletes’ Hub will have a special photo booth where the sporting heroes will be able to take a snap and share it online with fans.

Olympians will also be able to vote in the IOC Athletes’ Commission elections from 24 July until 17 August.

And they will be able to show their support for the Giving is Winning awareness campaign on the plight of refugees, jointly led by the IOC and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as well as taking part in the IOC’s Play Fair initiative.

Meanwhile, athletes will find kiosks and vendors around the grounds selling typical Carioca snacks and drinks including coconuts, açaí and fruit juices.

The leisure area has videogames, musical instruments, snooker and table tennis for down time.

Golden Taki Slides to the Finish Line to win IAAF U20 youth Championship

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It's common to see a dive at the line to win a championship race, but Kumari Taki took it one step further by sliding into the finish line to win the 1500m at the IAAF World U20 Championships to claim the victory Thursday in Bydgoszcz, Poland..

Taki charged to the front with 200 metres to run and it was a lead he never relinquished, his legs carrying him to the line. At the tail-end of a 53.42-second last lap, the Kenyan athlete fell to the ground with five meters remaining. Determined to win, he slid into the finish and reached over the line – just – to take gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Taresa Tolosa in 3:48.77. “I knew that the Ethiopian had a stronger kick than me so I had to dive at the line,” said Taki. “I made it.”

Taki's dive won the race in 3:48.63 over Taresa Tolosa and Anthony Kiptoo. Kenya’s Anthony Kiptoo came home third in 3:49.00, with France’s Baptiste Mischler fading to fourth near the finish in 3:49.52.

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Security forces conduct large-scale anti-terror drill ahead of Rio 2016

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Police and soldiers have carried out the biggest simulated counter-terrorism exercises to date ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio. The drills come as security is heightened after the truck attack in France.
Brazilian security forces conducted the training session on Saturday at a Rio de Janeiro train station, with the drill including a mock bomb attack on the train system and a shooting.
During the simulated counter-terrorism operation, two "terrorists" in a parked train set off an explosion and fired blank rounds. Soldiers soon arrived to contain the "attack," followed by members of special forces arriving in two helicopters who "neutralized" the perpetrators.
The drill, supervised by a central command, took place in the Deodoro train station in the north of the city, with Deodor being one of four main venues of the Summer Olympics, set to begin on August 5.
"The exercise was very useful, because it allowed us to work within real parameters for the operation and utilization of the troops," said General Mauro Sinott, who heads the military's counterterrorism unit.
Despite reports of threats to security and worries in some quarters that Brazilian security forces might not be up to the job, US Olympic authorities recently said they were satisfied that the Games would be kept safe.
"I felt like the safest place in the world is going to be the village and the competition venues, so I think our athletes wil be among the safest people in Rio because of all the security around them," said United States Olympic Committee chief executive officer Scott Blackmun.
Brazil plans to mobilize some 85,000 members of the security forces as of July 24 to protect the 10,500 athletes, officials and journalists attending the Games, as well as the 500,000 visitors coming from across the world to experience the event. The central command in charge of security will include experts from 106 countries.

Fresh Legs!!Kenya U17 Team set for Mauritius(2016 Cosafa U-17)

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A contingent of 22 players and seven officials have been named for the journey to Mauritius where Kenya U-17 team will take part in 2016 Cosafa U-17 Championships as from July 22.

According to a letter obtained by Goal from Football Kenya Federation, the players selected from various clubs will be accompanied by five members of the technical bench plus two officials from the federation.

Here is the complete list: Isaac Omweri Omoke (Kisii Youth Olympic), Ibrahim Wandera Onnangwe (JMJ Academy), Telvin Kimani Njeri (Huruma Cranes), Eric Mbugua Muriithi (Elite Academy), Felix Chabaya Kavenge (Kayole Young Stars), Biron Otieno Lukale (Maren F.C), Daniel Mumo Wambua (Mikadini Youth), Brian Ochieng Otieno (Bonner sc, Germany), Thomas Wainaina Muya (Wilberforce Academy), Clement Reis Ngugi (Ligi Ndogo) Kenneth Mukuria Karungari (Tusker Youth), Clinton Oseko Machaka (Tusker Youth), John Collins Njuguna (Euronuts F.C).

Others are Jeremy Mwenda Muriithi (Ligi Ndogo Academy), Prince Korasei Boit (Ligi Ndogo Academy), Boniface Odhiambo (Uweza Soccer Academy), Ahmed Musa Omar (Bandari Youth), George Ochieng Ouma (Nakuru All Stars), Muthoka Maingi Mulei (Chaani Youth), Brian Kafero Omutanyi (Sags Soccer Academy), Zidane Ochieng Karume (Makadara Junior), Lewis Wanjala Omachi (Mwangaza All Stars).

Officials: Andreas Spier (Coach,) Michael Nam (Assistant Coach), Sunil Shah (Goalkeeper Coach), Michael Kamure (Logistics), Jackline Kalekye Kivuva (Physio), Anika Seefeld (FKF), Christopher Amimo (FKF).

Kenya will be the guest nation in the tournament after Mozambique withdrew from the competition. The team is placed in Group 'B' along with Zambia, Malawi and Madagascar. Group 'A' consists of hosts Mauritius, South Africa, Seychelles and Namibia. Kenya will have to finish in the top two in the pool to make the semi-finals, with the deciding match of the tournament scheduled to be played on July 31.

Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil (Games of the XXXI Olympiad)

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The 2016 Summer Olympics,officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, and commonly known as Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. A record number of countries are participating in a record number of sports. More than 10,500 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), including first time entrants Kosovo and South Sudan, are scheduled to take part. With 306 sets of medals, the games will feature 28 Olympic sports — including rugby sevens and golf, which were added by the International Olympic Committee in 2009. These sporting events will take place at 33 venues in the host city and at 5 venues in the cities of São Paulo (Brazil's largest city), Belo Horizonte, Salvador, Brasília (Brazil's capital), and Manaus.

These will be the first Summer Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Thomas Bach.The host city of Rio de Janeiro was announced at the 121st IOC Session held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 October 2009. Rio will become the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics. These will be the first games to be held in a Portuguese-speaking country, the first to be held entirely during the host country's winter season (the 2000 games began on 15 September – five days before the Southern Hemisphere's vernal equinox), the first since 1968 to be held in Latin America, and the first since 2000 (and third overall) to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Portugal gatecrash France's Euro 2016 party to win Championship

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Portugal gatecrashed France's Euro 2016 party to win the European Championship for the first time in its history and all this without leading star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid forward was forced out of the game with a knee injury in the first half, but Portugal regrouped and thanks to some heroic goalkeeping from Rui Patricio took the game into extra time before Eder struck with 11 minutes to go.
Portugal's 1-0 win was all the more remarkable given in their previous 10 meetings -- France had won all of them.
"Simple as doves and as wise as serpents," is how Portugal coach Fernando Santos characterized his team's success at Euro 2016.

France hit the post late on in normal time, but so too did Portugal just before Eder's goal when Raphael Guerreiro's exquisite free kick came back off the crossbar.
The win was testament to a remarkable group ethic after Ronaldo was taken off on a stretcher following a robust tackle by Dimitri Payet on eight minutes.

Twice Ronaldo tried to hobble back on the pitch before he collapsed, distraught and in tears as he conceded his tournament had come to a premature end.

The huge ovation he was given by the Stade de France crowd French and Portuguese fans alike must have been scant consolation given the pivotal role he has played in this side for over a decade since making his international debut as an 18-year-old.

Is FKF transitions for the better of Kenya football or just a side show

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The football Kenya Federation has announced changes in its secretariat in what has been described as ensuring the development of football in line with the FIFA requirements.

In a communiqué from their head quarters in Nairobi, Mr. Joseph Agola who is the current finance manager will now serve as the acting Secretary General while still maintaining his current position.

Mr. Michael Esakwa will serve as the Deputy Secretary General while former acting CEO Mr. Lordvick Aduda will be the Operations’ Manager.

The current assistant finance manager Dinah Kerubo will juggle between her current role as being the liaison officer in charge of Harambee Stars.

These changes took place with effect to the new constitution that will help to increase transparency with regard to the federation's finances and activities and help ensure men and women of integrity are involved in the running of Kenyan football.

Article 26 proposes all elected officials and appointed officials provide a Certificate of Good Conduct, A Tax Clearance Certificate, Higher Education Loans Board Certificate,A Credit Reference Bureau Certificate, a Certificate of Clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.They will also be required to maintain compliance throughout their term of office.

Article 59 calls for the the Chief Executive Officer to publish audited accounts, and an executive summary of the President's annual activities reports in at least two newspapers of countrywide circulation at least 30 days before the date of the Annual Congress.

Vivian Cheruiyot and Betsy Saina book Olympics spots in Eldoret

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World champion Vivian Cheruiyot yesterday qualified for the Rio Olympic Games after winning the women’s 10,000m race at the ongoing National trials at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium, Eldoret.

Cheruiyot, who won bronze in 10,000m at the 2012 London Olympics, clocked her fastest time on Kenyan soil of 31 minutes and 36.37 seconds, beating United States-based Betsy Saina, who came in second in 32:04.83.

Cheruiyot, the 2011 World 10,000m and 5,000m champion, and Saina will now team up with Africa Games and Africa 10,000m champion Alice Aprot, who was given a wild card, in a bid to wrestle the title from their Ethiopian arch-rivals.

Aprot, who is also the Africa Cross Country champions, clocked a world-leading time of 30:26.94 to win the African title in South Africa on Saturday.

The Kenyans will now face a strong team from Ethiopia led by 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics 10,000m champion Tirunesh Dibaba, World 5,000m champion Almaz Ayana and World 10,000m silver medallist Delete Burka.

Ethiopia selected their 10,000m women and men’s teams on Wednesday night in Hengelo, where Ayana timed a world-leading 30:07:00, beating Burka (30:28:47) and Dibaba (30:28:53) respectively.

It will be interesting not only to see how the fast Aprot and Ayana will handle the field but also the legendary rivalry between Cheruiyot and Dibaba, who are both returning from maternity leave.

Cheruiyot said she will be banking on great teamwork from Aprot and Saina to deliver good results in Rio.

An elated Saina celebrated her 28th birthday in style on Thursday by claiming a ticket to her maiden Olympics.

The Ethiopian men’s team has little-known Yigerem Demelash, Tamrat Tolla and Abadi Hadis, who will face the Kenyan team that will be named Friday.

Already, World 10,000m silver medallist Geoffrey Kamworor has been given a wild card.z

Drama in Eldoret as Kamworor calls it quits, Tanui earns ticket to Rio

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There was drama on Friday at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium, Eldoret,when the World 10,000m silver medallist Geoffrey Kamworor,also the World Half Marathon and World Cross Country champion, withdrew with three laps to go after he experienced stomach pains to give way to the two-time World 10,000 bronze medallist Paul Tanui,to win the race and qualify for the Rio Olympic Games .

Tanui clocked 27:46.15, beating Africa Cross Country bronze medallist Charles Yosei, who also qualified in 27:57.07.
Also to withdraw with 16 laps to go was World Cross Country and World Half Marathon silver medallist Bedan Karoki.

Karoki has been nursing hamstring and tendon injuries he sustained in March after winning the World Half silver medal. However, it's Kamworor who will get the wild card in the race where they are expected to face defending champion Mo Farah.

Athletics Kenya was due to announce Kamworor's wild card on Friday. Kamworor told Daily Nation Sport that he is hopeful he will be ready for his Olympic debut. "I started to feel some pain in the stomach and I could not continue," said Kamworor.

Africa 400m hurdles silver medallist Maureen Jelagat clocked 57.35, beating Jane Chege 59.75, to qualify for her second Olympics.

Jelagat is the only woman qualifier, having attained the Olympics qualifying time of 56.00 during the Africa Championships in South Africa last weekend.

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Sports Kenya (SK) was founded through the Sports Act of January 25 2013 by an Act parliament as a successor to Sports Stadia Management Board and the department of Sports in the ministry of sports, culture and the arts.

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