Organizers announce free entry for weekend’s Kipkeino Cla*sic

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 00:20 | By
Workers intensify preparations at the venue of the fifth Absa KipKeino Classic, Nyayo Stadium, PHOTO/Peter Njoroge
Workers intensify preparations at the venue of the fifth Absa KipKeino Classic, Nyayo Stadium, PHOTO/Peter Njoroge

Organisers of the fifth edition of the breathtaking Absa KipKeino Classic have removed entry charges for the Saturday showdown at the Nyayo National Stadium.

It means there will be free entry for the fans who will throng the venue to sample the taste of some of the world’s greatest athletes in Nairobi.

Kipkeino Classic Meet Director Barnaba Korir revealed the good news to sports enthusiasts in the country in an exclusive interview with People Sport on Tuesday.

“For sure there will be no entry fee for the fans and we would like to urge all the sports lovers especially those living in Nairobi to turn up in large numbers this Saturday so that we can fill the stadium to the brim. If we fill the venue it will help us in the future because we want this Kipkeino Classic to be promoted to the rank of Diamond League. Currently we are at the level of Continental Tour Gold and the next step is the Diamond League and after that certainly we will be able to get the World Championships here in Nairobi,” Korir grinned.

The previous four editions of the annual competition has elicited excitement from fans especially watching the brilliant sprint star Ferdinand Omanyalla downing elite USA and Jamaican short distance runners on home turf.

Korir says he expects the Saturday race to attract more than the sitting capacity of Nyayo Stadium which is 30,000 fans.

With only three days remaining to the mouthwatering athletics show on the continent, the planners are already running a race against time to ensure all is in place for a nostalgic sporting experience for all and sundry come Saturday.

“All is going on well as scheduled, some of the international officials are already here and others from World Athletics will start jetting in the country today. Our athletes have stepped their preparations at the Ulinzi Complex Stadium and for the international athletes we expect them to start arriving this evening. We have the logistical preparations done for the athletes from arrival to their departures after the race,” Korir added.

The action packed Saturday is set to commence with field events at 10 AM with Omanyalla expected to dazzle to a routine win in the last event of the day at 05:54pm.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will go up against world leader Max Dehning and European champion Julian Weber in a javelin clash at the Paavo Nurmi Games, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Turku on 18 June.

The event forms part of Chopra’s preparations ahead of his Olympic title defence in Paris in August, as he returns to a meeting at which he placed second in 2022.

In that competition two years ago, India’s Chopra threw 89.30m in a contest won by Finland’s Oliver Helander with a PB of 89.83m. Chopra’s lifetime best is 89.94m, achieved in Stockholm in 2022.

Chopra also won the world title in Budapest last year with a throw of 88.17m.

According to his coach Klaus Bartonietz, Chopra threw 90.40m last year at a training camp in Belek. “Breaking 90 metres is just a matter of time,” Bartonietz said at the World Javelin Conference in Kuortane last year. “However, we say that it’s just a number.”

Helander also returns to compete in Turku and joining them at the Paavo Nurmi Stadium will be Germany’s Dehning and Weber, plus Finland’s Lassi Etelatalo.

The 19-year-old Dehning threw 90.20m in Halle in February – an improvement of more than 11 metres on his previous best. That mark by the world U20 silver medallist remains the world lead.

These five athletes are the first to be announced for this year’s Paavo Nurmi Games, the seventh Continental Tour Gold event of the season.

More on Sports