National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) has today presented eleven elite athletes with Olympic Scholarships.
The scholarships are for supporting the athletes in their preparation and qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The scholarship awardees are as follows;
1. Rosafio Danilo Swimming
2. Mutua Brian Ndunda Table Tennis
3. Mahabila Mathayo Matonya Wrestling
4. Muchiri Samuel Muturi Rowing
5. Kiprotich Alexander Athletics – Javelin
6. Angella Okutoyi Tennis
7. Kiarie Josette Umi Njeri Triathlon
8. Debe Nancy Akinyi Cycling
9. Wakoli Sharon Taekwondo
10. Ongare Christine Boxing
11. Priscillla Mburu Sports Shooting
Present at the award presentation were; Brian Mutua, Samuel Muchiri, Alexander Kiprotich, Josette Kiarie, Sharon Wakoli and Priscilla Mburu.
Danilo Rosafio, the Tokyo 2020 Olympian is receiving his second scholarship. He was top in his heat 2 at the Tokyo Games and clocked a personal best time of 52.54 seconds. Rosafio made improvements from his previous competitions, the 2019 World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea where he managed a time of 52.66. Danilo goes to school and trains in the UK.
Angela Okutoyi has had an impeccable growth as a junior athlete, after being the first Kenyan girl to win a junior Grand Slam Match at the 2022 Australian Open at 17 years of age. She has also qualified for the French Open and Wimbledon. Currently, she’s playing in Italy as she prepares for the prestigious Roland-Garros coming up in June and thereafter Wimbledon in July. If she keeps on the same path the 18-year-old has potential to qualify for the Paris Games.
Christine Ongare is the first Kenyan woman to win a Commonwealth Games medal in boxing. The triumphant flyweight boxer who is currently away for the 2022 World Championships in Istanbul will be looking to better her performance at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after making her debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Alexander Kiprotich, the 2013 African Junior Championship gold medalist and Commonwealth javelin thrower also received a scholarship as he puts in some spadework towards making a debut at the 2024 Olympic Games. He is currently preparing for the African Senior Championships in Mauritius next month.
Joining them are Mutua Brian Ndunda of table tennis, Mahabila Mathayo Matonya of Wrestling, Muchiri Samuel Muturi of canoe & rowing, Zonal Triathlon champion Josette Umi Njeri, Cyclist Nancy Akinyi, a bronze medalist at the last African Games in cross country and Wakoli Sharon, the undisputed national champion in Taekwondo in -53kg.
Wrapping up the list is Priscilla Mburu from sports shooting. Priscilla is shooting for the Olympics in the 10m Air Rifle event.
The scholarships awards were presented to the athletes today at the NOC-K offices by the 2nd Deputy President Mr. Waithaka Kioni and Secretary General Mr. Francis Mutuku.
NOC-K Executive Members, Deputy Secretary General Shoaib Vayani and Women Representative Paurvi Rawal were also present to preside over the event.
The athletes were nominated by their respective federations and presented by NOC-K to Olympic Solidarity for vetting by their International Federations (IF) based on their rankings and performances.
Mr. Mutuku said, ‘The awards therefore mean that the IFs have confidence that the athletes have the potential to qualify for the Olympics if they put in the work. The scholarships were given based on exemplary performance in the past and present of an athlete and what the future towards the Olympic Games at a glance seems.’
Mr. Waithaka Kioni congratulated the athletes on behalf of NOC-K president and encouraged them to put the funds into proper use.
Mr. Kioni mentioned that, “We aim to place the athlete at the center of everything. This scholarship award to the eleven athletes will hopefully boost our qualification and performance as Team Kenya towards Paris 2024.”
He added that, ‘Personal discipline is very key to break the ceiling to success. We shall keep reviewing the performances now that you have our support.’
Each of the scholarship holders will receive a monthly subsidy from now until August 2024 to support their training and qualification costs. This includes specialised coaching services, equipment, local/overseas training, regular medical assistance and monitoring and other items that would assist the athletes so that they can focus on their journey to prepare and qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Brian Mutua expressed his excitement on receiving the news saying his focus remains on ensuring he makes his debut at the 2024 Paris Olympics Games