- Japan-based Kenyan distance runner Bedan Karoki remains optimistic that he can squeeze into the final team for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games despite being named in the reserve list for Kenya’s Marathon team.
Karoki is determined to run and win an Olympic medal at ‘home’, this being the third time he competes at the quadrennial Games. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic that has seen the event postponed to 2021, nothing is deterring Karoki’s dream.
“The Olympics were my biggest targets this season and that is all I was building up to. I had planned to run some two road races to prepare before giving my all to get into the final team. I am still dreaming of that especially now that the Olympics will be held in Japan. I would love to run here, where I feel at home,” Karoki said.
Karoki received the postponement news both bitterly and sweetly. “It was bitter-sweet when they announced postponement because it throws your plans off the window and you are forced to re-think and re-strategize. But again, it is a good decision for our health,” he observed.
Karoki recently moved from the capital Tokyo and now resides in Aichi where he is with two other Kenyans, Nicholas Kosimbei and Alex Cherono.
“I think I like this place more than in Tokyo because it is less congested and you can train well. There is enough space at the company and we also have a track so training is easier. Still, we can’t train as normal because of the social distancing restrictions,” Karoki added.
Karioki said that although the restrictions in the city have been eased, only two people can train alongside each other making it hard. He added that you can lack motivation especially when there is no target in training.
“We just want to maintain fitness, not to burn ourselves out a lot. Once this virus is over, we will look at the competitions that are there and for me, I want to run at least three road races before the Olympics,” Karoki concluded.
Although the situation is not clear, Karoki still has his eyes fixed on a place in the Olympics and he continues to keep himself fit.