Kenya: Tokyo 2020 Olympics Notebook - Day 13

CS Amina arrives, PS Okudo holds fort in Nairobi

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Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed arrived in Tokyo on Friday for the Olympic Games. Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo will, however, not travel as he is handling matters Olympics from Nairobi along with preparations for the August 17-22 World Athletics Under-20 Championships to be held at Kasarani. The chemistry between CS Amina and PS Okudo has worked well for Kenyan sport. Meanwhile, thanks to strict Covid-19 restrictions, and directives from the Kenyan government, there are no notorious joyriders this time round. Visas were also not issued by the Japanese hosts for "non-essential travelers."

Ambassador Irina's message of goodwill

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With all the strict regulations in place to guard against the spread of the coronavirus during the Olympic period, Kenya's Ambassador to Tokyo, Tabu Irina, regrets the fact that she doesn't have the freedom to mingle with Team Kenya and celebrate the Olympic spirit. But Her Excellency has been very much part of Team Kenya, staying in touch with the Kenyan delegation 24/7 including through regular Zoom call sessions. In Friday's issue of the Japan Times, Ambassador Irina has sent a special message of good luck to Team Kenya. "On this auspicious occasion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, I convey on behalf of the Embassy and all Kenyans in Japan, good luck and success to Team Kenya," she says.

Sports goods manufacturers feel pinch

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Sports goods manufacturers are bearing the brunt of a fan-less Olympic Games. With the Games having been postponed for a year and Tokyo currently in a state of emergency in the fight against Covid-19, sportswear firms are finding themselves without customers to engage.

However, sales of running shoes have been good as people get more conscious about exercising in the pandemic period.

"It is difficult to whet consumer appetite in times like this," a public relations officer at Descente Limited says. Descente has franchise right for brands such as Le Coq Sportif, Umbro and Munsingwear. Fans have largely been barred from attending events at the Olympic Games but some venues might allow in restricted numbers.

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