In March, when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games organisers announced that no overseas fans will be permitted to attend the event due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, many were taken aback.

The Summer Olympics games scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan, with Paralympics following a month later from August 24, will be without spectators and fans who are the lifeblood of the games.

The games were postponed by a year in March last year due to the growing spread of COVID-19.

This means that Olympics fans across the world will have to look for multiple channels on both TV and online to enjoy the spectacle, and the organisers have no choice but to substitute the scaled down spectators numbers by engaging traditional and new media to beam this global event to millions around the world.

They expect nothing short of well embedded news teams, specialist analysts, put together in a multi-platform and multi-channel setup that reflects Olympics in its full glory.

Locally, MultiChoice Kenya has prepared eight dedicated channels for the Olympics Games for its DStv customers and four channels for GOtv customers for the event. SuperSport will air all 339 gold medal events with the grandstand channel on DStv carrying the best events at any given time.

All eight channels will also be available to stream on the DStv App, and GOtv customers will have four Olympics channels – two on GOtv Max, one on GOtv Plus, and one on GOtv Value package. The Paralympics event will have two channels.

MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director Nancy Matimu says, “We are excited to offer these feature sporting events as part of our promise of being the home of sport. It is a fact that SuperSport shows more live sport than any other broadcaster on the continent and this year we are taking it a notch higher.”

She adds that in the next 12 months, sports fans can also look forward to the Women’s Tennis Association Champions, WWE and UFC which will continue to reinvent with new shows and new stars.

Recently, Athletics Kenya revealed that the national trials for the Olympics squad will be through invitation, implying that athletes that will be invited are those who have attained the qualifying standards.

Athletics Kenya has been forced to focus on the trials and perhaps the Diamond League, World Athletics Continental Gold Tour and World Athletics Challenge events to try have more athletes attain the qualifying standards for the Tokyo event.

Kenyan distance runners will be on everyone’s radar as they head to Tokyo. A number of them have won several titles in World Cross Country, indoors and outdoors events, but what is missing from their collections are Olympics gold medals.

They include Eliud Kipchoge, who is the world marathon record holder, having written the 2:01:39 mark at the Berlin Marathon in 2018. In October 2019, he became the first man to run a marathon in under two hours at the INEOS 159 challenge. He set a new mark of 1:59:40.

Another promising athlete is Brigid Kosgei – she is the women marathon world record holder, since 2019 edition of Chicago marathon where she took 2:14:04. Peres Jepchirchir, is also on the radar as she was one of the most outstanding athletes of 2020 and her light is expected to shine more this year.

We also have Hellen Obiri who is a two-time 5000m world champion. Beatrice Chepkoech who holds the 8:44:32 in 3000m steeplechase world record.

Others are Faith Kipyegon, Kenya’s Olympics 1500 metres champion, Kibiwott Kandie, Timothy Cheruiyot who is the 1500m star, Geoffrey Kamworor, Conseslus Kipruto, David Rudisha, Rhonex Kipruto, and Joyciline Jepkosgei.