The national taekwondo team preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games got a major boost Thursday when it received equipment worth Sh2 million from Korean government.
Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed received the equipment on behalf of the team from South Korean Ambassador to Kenya, Choi Yeonghan at her ministry's offices, Maktaba Kuu, Nairobi.
The equipment included competition mattresses, head gears, arm and leg protecting gears, mitts and muscle tapes. Others were masks and wrist and head bands.
Present were Faith Ogallo, who is the only player to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games and her teammates captain Newton Maliro, Eveline Aluoch, Mary Mureu and Edwin Lemiso.
Also in attendance were Kenya Taekwondo Federation (KTF) president Suleiman Sumba, Team Kenya for Tokyo Olympics Chef de Mission, Waithaka Kioni, general team manager Barnaba Korir and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) acting secretary general, Francis Mutuku.
Choi vowed to revive the old flame they had with Kenya as far as sports is concerned not only in taekwondo but boxing and other disciplines.
"We are here to celebrate the friendship that has existed between the two countries by sharing equipment with the players to utilise not only for their Olympics preparations but other major championships," said Choi.
Choi paid tribute to Ogalo for her determination, discipline and hard work that saw her qualify for the Tokyo Games due July 23 to August 8 at the Japanese capital.
"I want to wish you all the best as you go out to conquer and make the continent and Kenya proud. I am confident you will be able to win a medal for Africa," said Choi in reference to Tokyo-bound Ogalo.
"All Kenyans will be praying for not only Ogalo but Team Kenya for the Tokyo Games," said Amina adding that good equipment like the donation from the Korean government are key ingredients for success.
"Taekwondo has advanced with the electronic scoring system and I hope South Korea will help Kenya also advance in that field with equipment," said Amina adding that many youngsters are taking up taekwondo in schools, something that KTF should embrace to spread the game further.
Kioni noted that the donation marks revival of the great partnership between Kenya and Korea as he hailed Amina for her steadfast leadership that has brought vibrancy in the local sports arena.
Ogalo said she is ready for the Tokyo Games, having prepared well. "I am focused on reaching the medal bracket," said the Africa bronze medalist.