Kip Keino Classic: Govt waivers entry charges for fans
The government through the Ministry of Sports has waived gate fees for the Kenyan leg of the 2022 World Athletics Continental Gold Tour series set for today at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The announcement was done yesterday by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed who is aiming to give the global stars a memorable feeling.
Amina urged Kenyans to turn up in large numbers for the Continental Tour event, which has attracted a galaxy of stars from across the globe.
The CS noted that by Kenya hosting the outstanding final edition of the IAAF World U18 Championships in 2017 and World Under 20 last year, Nairobi demonstrated its readiness to take the next step as a championship host.
“In 2017, crowds of up to 60,000 attended the U18 Championships at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre, creating an exciting atmosphere for the young athletes who had gathered from around the globe. The global stars who will be attending the Kip Keino classic should expect the same experience,” the CS said.
Amina was hopeful that hosting the third edition of the World Athletics Continental tour signals the start of Kenya hosting the prestigious Diamond League soon.
Her address came during the prerace press conference whereas expected Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs who will run his first 100m since his shock win at the Tokyo Games last year promised fireworks.
Jacobs and silver medallist Fred Kerley will go head-to-head for the first time since the Olympics. Also in the mix is home favourite Omanyala with an African record 9.77sec. He finished second after American Trayvon Bromell in last year’s event. Omanyala during today’s race said he is eyeing extremely fast times.
“It’s all about executing the race well. If all goes well, how does 9.60 sound?” he dared.
“This year is going to be better than last year. I am not looking at any of my opponents but I am prepared to stop the clock at very good times” said Omanyala.
The clash between Kerley and Jacobs comes six weeks since the Italian stormed to victory to take the world indoor 60m gold in Belgrade when the Italian chased down the American world 100m champion Christian Coleman in the final.
Jacobs is relishing his Nairobi debut and another match-up with the American Kerley, who raced here last September over 200m setting a personal best of 19.76sec, and the 27-year-old Italian has promised a fast time.
“It will be important for me to win this one, and I hope to run faster than ever,” said Jacobs.
Kerley, who holds a world-class 9.84sec from Tokyo, is looking forward to a meeting on a track he knows well.
“I’m happy and look forward to running fast at Kasarani where I ran a PB in 200m in September,” the multi-talented American, who celebrates his 27th birthday on Saturday, said.
In the women’s equivalent, three-time Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce promised to run her race without minding opponents including Olympic silver medalist Christine Mboma of Namibia.
“After running 10.60, I felt that there is more to give. I am always looking forward to getting better and challenging myself. That’s what pushes me...keeps me going” said Fraser Pryce. -