Kenya announces Japanese town of Kurume to withdraw from training camp


The Japanese town of Kurume withdrew from hosting the Kenya pre-Olympic training camp over concerns over COVID-19, the Kenya Olympic Committee said on Wednesday, becoming the latest place to cancel plans welcoming teams abroad.

The tournament is set to start in less than eight weeks, but the pandemic has disrupted preparations, with more than 100 municipalities abandoning plans to host teams from abroad. Read more

Olympics Kenya said officials in the town of Kurume communicated the cancellation on Tuesday, saying infections had spread there rapidly since mid-April, creating a critical situation.

The training camp facilities were now places of vaccination, according to the Kenyan statement citing the authorities in Kurume.

There was no immediate confirmation from Japan.

Kenya had signed an agreement for a 12-day stay. Its qualified athletes – with the exception of the middle and long distance athletes and the swim team – were due to travel to Kurume on July 7.

“Kenya is therefore making alternative arrangements for the team to prepare adequately, and taking into account the organizers’ stay period guidelines,” said Francis Mutuku, secretary general of the Kenya National Olympic Committee.

Mutuku told Reuters that the athletes of Team Kenya will continue their training locally.

“Each of the teams will take off 5 days before the start of their competition,” he said in a WhatsApp message.

Tournament organizers have insisted the Games will be safe, although most Japanese want the event canceled or postponed again. Read more

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