Fencer Alexandra Ndolo explains what she needs to do to seal historic Olympics ticket for Kenya


FENCING Fencer Alexandra Ndolo explains what she needs to do to seal historic Olympics ticket for Kenya

Joel Omotto 15:03 - 27.06.2023

The German-born athlete is confident of qualifying for next year’s Games in Paris after being boosted by Africa Championships win

German-born Kenyan fencer Alexandra Ndolo is confident of qualifying for the Olympics and becoming the first athlete to represent Kenya in the sport at the Games.

Ndolo received official confirmation and approval from the International Olympic Committee to represent Kenya at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games last week, the news coming just a day after emerging as the African champion.

During the recent Africa Fencing Championships at the Hassan Mostafa Arena in Cairo, Egypt, she beat Algeria's Ines El Batoul Taleb by a score of 15-5 to win the Senior Women's Epee competition.

That win has left her sixth in the International Fencing Federation world ranking with 144 points and this gives her plenty of confidence that she will clinch a ticket to the Games at the end of the qualifiers in April 2024.

“By the end of April next year, I need to be the highest-ranked African athlete in order to get the ticket to Paris 2024. That is when qualification stops and whoever is the top African athlete by then will get the ticket,” Ndolo told NTV on Monday.

“The African Championship win was a huge step because by now, I am sixth in the world and the next African athlete is like 30 places below me in the rankings,” she added.

Ndolo appears a shoo-in for the Olympics since the second-best African is Algerian El Batoul Taleb Ines, who is 36th on the world rankings, with 39 points.

The Cologne-based athlete is counting on support from the country after the government and the National Olympics Committee of Kenya committed to helping her in her qualification journey following her outburst last month over lack of support.

Ndolo blasted the Kenya Fencing Federation last month for waiting to profit from her efforts yet they have given her empty promises, forcing her to take debts to finance her preparations while she was unable to travel with her coach and physio to various events.

“Between those weeks before when I felt really low and now, there was communication. We have not sorted out everything yet but I am in direct contact with Sports CS Ababu Namwamba with the National Olympic Committee so that is a big step,” she added.

“To just say, listen guys I know I have not done everything possible that I need to be a professional fencer on the highest level but this is a team effort. You hope for me to go to the Olympics, I want to do this I want to raise the flag as high as possible, but it needs to be a team effort and I think everyone is on the same page now.”

With Olympics qualification a huge possibility, the 36-year-old, who represented Germany for 15 years before switching allegiance to Kenya in 2022, says it would ‘mean everything to fly the country’s flag in Paris.

“I am very emotional about the Olympics, it’s been a childhood dream of mine. I am very emotional about Kenya, about the country of my father,” she said.

“Kenya is the country where half of my family lives. The combination of the love for sport and country, if I will be able to represent Kenya in Paris, would be amazing.”

Ndolo was born in Germany to a Kenyan father and Polish mother.