6,000 fans to grace the Kip Keino Classic

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Nyayo National Stadium. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Over 100 international athletes have already confirmed their participation in the Kip Keino Classic, the final leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour slated for October 3 at the Nyayo National Stadium, where approximately 6,000 fans will be allowed to the facility.

Athletics Kenya made the revelations  yesterday during the official media launch that was graced by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. 

The list of the athletes will however be made public on Friday, September 25 when entries for the event closes. 

The launch all but ended the uncertainties that Nairobi  was likely to follow Nanjing , Hengelo and Kingston cities that cancelled the event this year. 

It will be the first time fans will be allowed in the stadium since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in the country on March 13. 

It is estimated that Sh300m will be used to successfully host the one-day event.

The Nairobi event will mark the culmination of seven  continental tours that started in Turku, Finland, on 11 August before heading to Szekesfehervar, Tokyo, Silesia, Ostrava and Zagreb.

The Nairobi meet christened Kip Keino Classic was initially scheduled for May 2 but had to be postponed to September  and later October in the of the then fast-spreading novel coronavirus.

Mohamed said for Kenya, hosting the prestigious event is a huge step that will showcase the country’s ability to organise and hold global sporting competitions . 

The revelation comes even as the Cabinet Secretary insisted that the government is doing everything possible to ensure the Nyayo National Stadium is officially opened this week.

“We hope the event will go a long way in helping us realise our ambitions of  hosting the 2025 world championships,”said an optimistic Amina, who was part of the team that went to Monaco to bid for the continental tour last year.

She added: “Kenya is a world-beater in sports and as such we cannot overlook the role played by our trailblazers like the legend himself Kipchoge Keino, one of the best middle-distance runners the country has ever produced.”

Tuwei reiterated that Kenyan athletes who will grace the event were selected using the world athletics rankings, mostly  looking at results from events from Africa Games as well as the world championships both events that happened last year. 

He added that the organising committee is still negotiating with the government to see the number of fans doubled for the event.

He however said the biggest responsibility for the federation is to  ensure there is strict adherence to the protocols where by social distancing is one of them.

“Application for the limited tickets will be done online and it will be on a first come basis.

While it might not be possible to get more slots as we had anticipated, we urge all the Kenyan fans to watch the event on TV as well as on social media,” urged Tuwei.

The World Athletics Continental Tour is an annual series of elite track and field athletic competitions that was formed by World Athletics last year.

The Tour forms the second tier of international one-day meetings after the Diamond League and will feature 200m, 3,000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump.

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