The rearranged Tokyo Olympics are due to begin in late July and already anticipation is building ahead of the spectacle. While this proved to be disappointing for some, it has also proved to be a blessing in disguise for others. This has been the case for many teams who would welcome the extra time to prepare, one of them being Team Kenya’s marathon squad.
Renowned coach David Leting leads Team Kenya and he believes that both the men’s and women’s groups under his charge have it in them to produce a stunning clean sweep this summer. Leting believes that as individuals, they’ll all be at the top of their game and the odds at experienced bookmakers such as William Hill sportsbook will likely support these claims closer to the time.
The marathon category is one where Kenya regularly asserts their dominance. Their approach of building on their success to keep challengers at bay has proven to bear fruit time and time again. Leting moved to dismiss concerns that other nations could threaten their stronghold by insisting he wasn’t “worried about the threat of any nation to our dominance in the marathon category”.
Another concern many bring into play where the Kenyan marathon runners are concerned surrounds the humidity they must perform under at the Tokyo Games. Some suggest it could prove to be unbearable for athletes who often train in areas of high altitude. Again, Leting was keen to dismiss the suggestions by insisting that runners will use their experience and that weather conditions becoming a hindrance will be “across the board” and not solely affect his athletes.
Training is well underway for marathoners ahead of the Games, with athletes training individually at present before coming together at a later date to progress further. Road races were in place as additional preparation, which would have acted as a gauge for Leting and his runners to know how far from full sharpness they were. However, they have now been pulled, so the focus is now solely on Tokyo.
At the time of writing, the Tokyo 2020 Games organising committee is still waiting to decide whether foreign spectators will be allowed into the spectacle. Or if the Games will go ahead without them this time around. There is some suggestion that the Olympics could take place behind closed doors in the main, with select attendees permitted.
The organising committee is determined that a decision will be made before the end of the month. And this desire is backed up by Seiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo 2020 President, insisting she wants to know what’s happening before the torch relay gets underway on March 25.
It is no secret that fans being involved make the competition way more entertaining and helps raise the athletes’ performance levels. Therefore, it is hoped that the organisers can find a way that everyone is welcome.