World comes to Nairobi once again

Friday, May 6th, 2022 07:34 | By
A view of Kasarani Stadium during last year’s Kip Keino Classic. PHOTO/Edwin Otieno

When the sun rises on Kenya’s horizon tomorrow morning, local and international athletes will be warming up as they prepare to compete in the third edition of the World Athletics Continental Tour at Kasarani, dubbed the Kip Keino Classic.

The day-long event will comprise 21 events that begin at 12.40 pm. Some of the events include men and women hammer throw, women’s long jump, men and women’s 3,000m steeplechase, men and women’s 200m, men’s 100m and men’s pole vault.

The men and women’s 5,000m, men and women’s 1,500m, men and women’s 800m and men’s javelin throw will be among the highlights, not to mention shot put, 400m women and men’s high jump.

It has been a hive of activities throughout the week as foreign athletes, scribes and World Athletics officials trooped into the country while the event’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) made requisite preparations at the stadium ahead of the competition.

AK has indicated that a total of 160 foreign and local-based participants have confirmed their date with destiny during the Tour that has been named after Kenya’s legendary runner Kipchoge Keino who won the country a gold medal during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.

Event meet director Barnaba Korir had indicated that he had been receiving many applications from athletes worldwide who are interested in competing at Saturday’s showpiece.

The heightened interest in the sprints, specifically, Korir noted, is one guarantee that this year’s edition will be bigger and better. “Kasarani stadium has nine lanes and all of them were full more than a week ago. Both 100m and 200m races have attracted a lot of attention.

Unfortunately, there is no one who has cancelled his/her participation in the sprints,” Korir said.

Unlike in the 2020 and 2021 editions where the competition was held in an empty stadium, in this year’s edition spectators will be allowed in the 60,000 capacity stadium after the Covid pandemic receded and the government lifted health restrictions that it had imposed on the sports sector.

First tour Korir said that tickets are already on sale on The normal tickets retail at Sh200 while the VIP tickets are going for Sh1,500. World Athletics has indicated that this third edition of the Kip Keino Classic will be the first tour in the 11- leg Gold Level meetings for the 2022 World Athletics Continental Tour.

This continental tour is held in 10 countries across 4 continents. It comprises gold, silver, and bronze level meetings spanning the globe from February to December.

“Nairobi has been awarded gold label classification with the Kenyan tour dubbed ‘Kip Keino Classic’ in honour of Kenya’s trailblazing athlete Kipchoge Keino,”

World Athletics body said. Korir noted that the event will provide athletes with a timely elite-level platform to compete ahead of the World Athletics Championships slated from July 15 to July 24 in Oregon, United States.

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