Ten top athletes who graced Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi

Monday, September 20th, 2021 00:00 | By
Justin Gatlin.

Edwin Otieno

Soufiane El Bakkali

Moroccan 3,000m steeplechase athlete who is the reigning Olympic champion after he ended Kenyans’ dominance in the race during the Tokyo Summer Games last month.

Prior to the Tokyo Olympics he had been playing second fiddle to the Kenyans,  finishing third at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and third at the 2019 Africa Games in Rabat Morocco.

He is the most successful athlete who was in Nairobi for the Kip Keino Classic with an illustrious career spanning more than two decades.

Gatlin at 39 years has an Olympic gold medal to boast about, four world championships gold medals, two world indoor championships gold medals and two world athletics relays gold medals.

 Mike Rodgers 

An American professional track and field sprinter who specialises in the 100m and the 60m.

Rodgers 36, won the gold medal in the 100m relay in Doha in 2019. He is also the Pan-Am Games Champion. 

Trayvon Bromell

An American professional track and field athlete specialising in sprinting events.

He was the first junior to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 meters with a time of 9.97 seconds, the current junior world record.

Bromell’s personal best time in the 100m of 9.77 seconds makes him the 7th fastest man of all time.

He is the 2016 world indoor 60m champion and competed for the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

He won the 2021 Olympic Trials ahead of Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley.

Hyvin Kiyeng

Kiyeng is a Kenyan steeplechase runner. She won gold at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics and 2011 All-Africa Games, and bronze at the 2017 World Championships and 2012 African Championships in Athletics.

At the Olympic Games, she won silver in Rio de Janeiro and bronze in Tokyo.

As of August 2021, her personal best time of 9:00.01 ranks her 6th on the world all-time list.

Fred Kerley

Tipped to be the next big thing over the 100m distance, Kerley is an American track and field sprinter known primarily for competing in the 400 metres distance.

He has earned several medals at the World Championships in the 400 m and 4 × 400 m relay including an individual bronze and a relay gold at the 2019 edition.

Kerley’s personal best time of 43.64 seconds makes him the eighth fastest man in history over 400 m.

After the pandemic, Kerley chose to focus on the 100 meters during the Olympic cycle to improve his basic speed for future attempts at a sub-43 400 m.

The decision to move down paid off as he won the silver medal in the 100m at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a 9.84, making Kerley the fifteenth fastest man in history over the straightaway.

Isaac Makwala

The Botswana international sprinter has the 400 metres as his discipline. He was the gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

He has also won continental titles at the distance, winning at the 2015 African Games and twice at the African Championships in Athletics (2012, 2014).

He has represented his country at the 2016 Summer Olympics, three times at the Commonwealth Games, and five times at the World Championships in Athletics (2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017).

With the Botswana 4 × 400 metres relay team he has won the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a silver medal at the 2017 IAAF World Relays and medals at the African Games and Championships. 

Christine Mboma

A Namibian international junior athlete who is already a handful for the seniors. At age 18, she set an unratified African senior and world under-20 record in the 400 metres, which made her the seventh fastest woman of all time.

The mark was established at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in June 2021, while Mboma had previously twice broken a world U20 record in April 2021.

She won silver in the 200m at the Tokyo 2020, becoming the first ever Namibian woman to win a women’s Olympic medal. 

Marie-Josee Ta Lou

The celebrity guest during the 2019 SOYA awards, 32-year-old Ta Lou is an Ivorian athlete whose discoline is the sprints.

She finished fourth in the 100 metres and 200 metres finals at the 2016 Olympic Games, missing out on a medal in the 100m by seven-thousandth of a second (0.007).

She then won silver medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres at the 2017 World Championships, the latter in the national record time of 22.08 secs. Her 100 metres best is 10.78 secs (2021).

Faith Kipyegon

Currently enjoying the form of her life after beating the dreaded Sifan Hassan three times in a span of two months, Kipyegon is a Kenyan middle-distance runner specialising in the 1500 metres.

A 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympic champion with the Olympic record at the latter, she has won or finished second in every major championships since she was 20 in 2014.

Competing at the World Championships in 2015, 2017 and 2019, Kipyegon took a silver medal, a gold and a silver respectively.

She was the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2017 Diamond League champion. 

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