KVF official: Moving Tokyo games would benefit Atuka
A Kenya Volleyball Federation official is certain national women’s team Malkia Strikers blocker Trizah Atuka will benefit a lot should the Olympic Games be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kenya Pipeline player missed the Africa Olympic qualifying tournament in Cameroon in January after suffering a knee injury last November and is on course to full recovery, though the July 24 to August 9 Games might come too soon for her.
The remarks by the official, who did not want to be named, comes at a time the international sports calendar has been disrupted by the coronavirus, leading to wide spread calls to have the Tokyo event postponed or cancelled.
Last week, the Kenyan international, who played a key role in Malkia Strikers winning gold at the 2019 African Games, in Rabat, Morocco told a local daily that she will not be ready for the Tokyo Olympics.
“I need to catch up with the rest of my team-mates in terms of fitness as I start court rehabilitation and a month will not be enough to make the cut for the Olympics,” Atuka was quoted saying in the interview.
The official now believes a delay in the Games might be a blessing in disguise for Atuka and other players who might be injured or even out of form.
“We have to be mindful of athletes, fans and even officials. While it is true millions have been used in the preparations of the Games, organisers will have to do the right thing for everyone,” said the official.
Kenya qualified for the games for the first time since 2004 after beating Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda and hosts Cameroon in a round-robin qualifiers in January.