Kenyan sprinter Mark Otieno is hoping to shine in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that officially kicked off today after Japan’s Emperor Naruhito declared the games open.
Otieno, who is representing Kenya alongside Ferdinand Omanyala in the men’s 100m finals, is confident that he will make his motherland proud after his latest training session in Kurume city, Japan.
“Since we arrived on Thursday last week, I have been training daily and it has been an enjoyable experience especially because of the weather which is conducive for me. I feel ready for next week’s competition and I hope to put our country on the map early on in the competition,” said Otieno.
Last week, the sprinter received Kes 1 million sponsorship from Safaricom as part of a deal that will give him access to quality shoes, support his training needs and cover his logistics, allowing him to attend other competitions.
Otieno hit 10.05 seconds to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the national trials held in June at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani and is expected to perform well in the global event.
Tech giant Safaricom also unveiled a Kes 20 million sponsorship for the team that is representing Kenya at the Olympics.
The sponsorship funds have been used to cater for the team’s ceremonial kits during the Tokyo Olympics.
The Tokyo Games were delayed for a year by the pandemic but a number of competitions have been taking place since early this week, but the Olympics are not considered officially started until the opening ceremony.
“Today is a moment of hope. Yes, it is very different from what all of us had imagined. But let us cherish this moment. Finally, we are all here together,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach during the opening ceremony.