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China construction firms help Kenya
team prepare for C’wealth Games

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan officials may be forced to ask Chinese construction companies working on renovation of stadiums in Nairobi and Eldoret to halt their work to allow athletes train for the Commonwealth Games.

Barnaba Korir, Kenya’s Chief de Mission to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, said on Thursday they have run into headwind as athletes lack suitable grounds to train prior to their departure to Australia on Mar. 24.

“Nyayo Stadium is undergoing renovation and therefore unavailable entirely. While Kasarani Stadium warm up track is fine for training, the pitch is not conductive for field events training. Those two are in Nairobi. In Eldoret, Kipchoge Keino stadium is under renovation by Chinese-owned WIETC Company,” he said.

China has put in capital and human resources to bring up to world standard Kenya’s stadium and though the work is continuing, local sports officials are demanding for time to train before the workers complete their renovations.

WIETC Company was awarded the whole tender to construct the VIP pavilion, terraces, changing rooms and the parking lot in Elodret’s Kipchoge Keino.

Kenya track and field athletes, selected last week in Nairobi, will have to do with any available space to train and Korir hinted at pitching camp at the Kenyatta University grounds.

“The other option is Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, but they do not have hostels to accommodate the huge team of 80 we need to have in camp. The Kenya School of Monetary Studies hostels are good but we haven’t talked to them,”  he added.

The Commonwealth Games are set for April. 4-15 in Gold Coast, Australia. Kenya’s first lot of athletes will leave Nairobi on March. 24 for Gold Coast while the marathon team will be the last to depart on April. 8.

Due to challenges in acquisition of training grounds, Korir said the boxing team of 11 will camp in Nakuru, rugby players will shift to Mombasa, while the cycling team will be in Eldoret.

“We have a challenge to determine where our athletes will be staying. Nyayo Stadium, Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret), Moi International Stadium Kasarani - are all under renovations,” he said.


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