Why Sprinter Mark Otieno Landed Ksh. 1M Boost from Safaricom

For the first time in history, Kenya will have an athlete competing in the 100m race at the Olympics.

Ferdinand Omanyala and Mark Otieno qualified for Olympics 100m race at Kenya’s trial for Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Mark Otieno qualified second, clocking 10.05 seconds. He posted on his Instagram: “Today was the last opportunity I had to qualify for the Olympics. As of yesterday, I didn’t even have running spikes but God came through and Tarsis Orogot graciously gave me his today.”


Mark received overwhelming support and later posted “I went from having no spikes to 2 pairs in less than 48 hours. Thank you everyone for the concern, encouragement and kind words, I can now comfortably train & prepare for Olympics without worrying about shoes.”

The 28-year-old sprinter is 98th in the current world ranking position and has a day job as a human resource with Kenya’s National Postal service.

Safaricom revealed a sponsorship of KES 20M for team Kenya at Tokyo Olympics 2020, and the funds will go towards Kenya’s ceremonial kit.

Due to Otieno’s struggle in getting the right footwear for the trials, Safaricom chipped in, boosting his preparations with Ksh. 1M.

In a press release announcing Otieno’s sponsorship, Safaricom revealed, “Otieno will now have access to the best quality shoes as part of the sponsorship deal, which will support his training needs and cover his logistics to allow him attend other competitions.”

Safaricom CEO tweeted.”We were really inspired by how Mark Otieno has gone beyond to reach his goal of representing Kenya in 100m race at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.” the tweet continued.

Each member of Team Kenya will also receive KES 10,000 worth of Airtime that they will use while in Tokyo.