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Keino wants Britain to give Kenyan teams technical assistance

By Oscar Pilipili

National Olympic Committee-Kenya (NOC-Kenya) has appealed to Britain to help prepare local teams for 2012 London Olympic Games.

NOC-Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino stated that Britain has best facilities and highly-trained personnel and urged the European nation to share the know-how with Kenya as it prepares her teams for the Summer Games.

Keino, who is an Olympian of international reputation, said Britain and Kenya have long historic relationship politically, economically and socially and the East Africans should feel at home and return with impressive results from London.

"NOC-K is extremely happy about cordial relationship between Kenya and Britain and I ask United Kingdom to offer technical assistance to Kenya as we prepare our teams for Olympics," said Keino.

"We’ve reached the final of Olympics because most of our swimmers nurture their talent in the UK, a country with standard facilities," he added.

SENSITISE KENYANS

The NOC-K chairman said Kenyan athletes need to train in Britain to gain international exposure ahead of the Olympics.

He was speaking at British High Commissioner residence in Nairobi during the official launch of ‘500 Days to Go’ countdown meant to sensitise Kenyans and rest of the world on time remaining to the Games.

From left Olympian David Wakiihuri, Henry Wanyoike, British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire and NOCK-K chairman Kipchoge Keino during the launch of '500 Days to Go' countdown at the diplomat's residence in Nairobi, on Wednesday. [PHOTO: STAFFORD ONDEGO/STANDARD]

The icon of athletics and sport administration expressed joy that a stadium in West London has been named after him to honour his efforts towards development of sports around the world.

"Kenyan teams will camp at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in West London and I believe the name will inspire them to perform better in Olympics," said Keino.

Addressing a gathering that included Sports Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando and local federations’ officials, British High Commissioner to Kenya Rob Macaire said Olympic programme was on course.

He pointed that 75 per cent of permanent venues and infrastructure are now complete, in what is the largest regeneration project in Europe.

INSPIRE ATHLETES

He said: "At the flagship Olympic Stadium, the seats have been installed, the roof completed and in December last year Prime Minister David Cameron turned on the floodlights for the very first time."

Macaire said the Olympic Park is literally setting down roots with the planting of 4,000 trees. The area is destined to become the largest urban park in Europe blue print for sustainable living.

"The Prime Minister (Cameron) has said that Beyond 2012, we want to ensure these Games deliver a strong legacy-not just regenerating this part of East London, but boosting our national economy and inspiring a new generation to get active and get into sport," said Macaire in his keynote speech.

The Diplomat said Britain will start to welcome national teams as they arrive for pre-Games training in towns and cities across the land, forging friendship that will last for years to come.

"At 500 days to go, the countdown starts here and now its time to get ready for the greatest show on earth," said the High Commissioner.