Safaricom has announced a Ksh. 1 million sponsorship for sprinter Mark Otieno’s campaign during this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. The 28-year-old athlete finished second in the Olympic trials held at Kasarani last month. The sponsorship will cover his training needs and cover his logistics to allow him attend other competitions.
Commenting on the Safaricom sponsorship, an excited Otieno said, “I want to thank Safaricom for seeing my potential and believing in me. It has always been my dream to compete in the Olympics and having the biggest company in the country backing me has boosted my own confidence and I am determined to do my best in Tokyo. It has not been easy, due to lack of resources, but it has been worth every effort to get to this stage where I have the honour of representing my country at the biggest sporting event.”
Last week Safaricom announced a Ksh. 20 million sponsorship for Team Kenya at the Olympics. The funds have been set aside for the ceremonial kit that will be used by the Kenyan contingent at the games.
“We are known for our pedigree of middle and long-distance runners having won majority of our Olympic medals in these races. However, as a company that believes in going beyond to achieve one’s dreams, we were really inspired by Mark’s story and how he has gone beyond to reach his goal of representing Kenya in the 100m race. We hope that his exploits motivate a new generation of young people who will be inspired to represent Kenya in short distance races”, said Peter Ndegwa, CEO- Safaricom.
Mark’s breakthrough came in 2017 when he clocked the Kenyan record of 10.14 seconds to win the national 100m title in Nairobi, which booked him a spot at the 2017 World Championships. In his sole 100m race in 2020, he clocked 10.27 seconds.
This year Kenya is expected to take over 80 athletes to the Olympics who will compete in different games including Athletics, Boxing, Rugby Sevens, Taekwondo and Volleyball.
In the Athletics category, Team Kenya will be represented by elite athletes like World Record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei. The rest of the track and field team includes Olympic medalists Hellen Obiri (women’s 10000 m), Julius Yego (men’s javelin throw), and the reigning middle-distance champion Faith Kipyegon.