Stars Tebogo, Ka*sanavoid arrive in Nairobi in high spirits ah**d of the KipKeino Cla*sic

Friday, April 19th, 2024 08:00 | By
Selected athletics stars pose for a group photo during the last press conference ahead of the Absa KipKeino Classic to be held in Nairobi on Saturday. PHOTO/David Ndolo
Selected athletics stars pose for a group photo during the last press conference ahead of the Absa KipKeino Classic to be held in Nairobi on Saturday. PHOTO/David Ndolo

The World 100m silver medalist Letsile Tebogo arrived in the country on Wednesday night in readiness for the fifth edition of the KipKeino Classic.

Botswana, accompanied by his coach Kebonyemodisa Dose Mosimanyane, said he is glad to be back in the country that holds fond memories for his career.

“I feel it will be a great show because I came here and won the junior championships. Now we are back here to see what the future holds for us. We don’t know what everyone (other competitors) has been doing behind the scenes. We hope it will be a great show,” the 2021 World Under 20 100m champion said.

Tebogo will be running in the men’s 200m where he will come up against the United States pair of Courtney Lindsey and Corian Camel, the 2022 World Relay 4x100m champion Brendon Rodney of Canada, the 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m silver medalist Henricho Bruintjies of South Africa as well as the African Games 200m silver medalist Claude Emmanuel Itoungue of Cameroon.

Reflecting on the star-studded start list, Tebogo quickly pointed out that records or achievements will count for nothing when he lines up at the starting block on Saturday.

“For now, we don’t focus on the past…we need to move on to the next races. If you hold on to the fact that you won a silver medal in the past, you will never progress. So, as much as the silver medal is an added advantage, I don’t want to focus on that but to try a new strategy,” he said.

The youngster clocked 10.19 to win the world 100m title at the 2021 World Under-20 level as well as silver in the men’s 200m.

His career has been on an upward trajectory since then, defending his World Under 20 title at the next edition of the games in Cali, Colombia in 2022 before clinching silver in the men’s 100m at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary as well as bronze in the 200m.

Also docking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was the world silver medalist for the women’s hammer throw Janee Kassanavoid.

The American expressed her elation at competing at the Kip Keino Classic for a fourth time.

“I am super excited to be back in the country and competing at the Kip Keino Classic for the fourth time. I am looking forward to starting my season,” Kassanavoid said.

The 29-year-old said she will be simply looking to enjoy herself as she ramps up her preps for the summer Olympics in Paris.

“I am going to just have fun and try to knock the rust off. I haven’t competed since August so this is sort of my season-opener. I am looking to open with something big and it would be fun,” she said.

Despite being out of competition, Kassanavoid says she is in great shape.

“I have been keeping myself in shape and staying healthy all fall. I have been getting strong again and obviously with Paris on the horizon, it is going to be a big season. It is a good meet this weekend,” she said.

Kassanavoid will come up against four-time world champion Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland – among other competitors – and will be looking to defend the crown she won at last year’s edition of this World Continental Tour Gold event.

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