•Amina said the next logical step is to host the premier athletics meet in the world after proving itself as a sports destination
•The CS was speaking via Zoom during the launch event of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event on Monday morning
•Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei described Kip Keino Classic as a core part of the growth in the athletics industry
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed is optimistic the country will host one of the Diamond League meetings in two years’ time after successfully organising and hosting the Kip Keino Classic.
Amina said Kenya’s next logical step is to host the world’s most prestigious athletics meeting after proving itself as a destination of choice for international sports events.
“This year, we have hosted the World Under 20 Championship and today we launch the Deaflympics. I am looking forward to the second series of the Kip Keino Classic, which is a really big event for the country. After hosting the next two series of the classic, we will begin preparations for the next series of events one of which will hopefully be the Diamond League,” Amina said.
Amina said she, just like all other athletics enthusiasts, is eagerly awaiting this Saturday’s Kip Keino Classic at Moi Stadium, Kasarani, which has attracted many star names from Kenya and beyond.
“Since this is the first time I am seeing you in a while, let me congratulate our Olympic champions for a great show in Tokyo. We really look forward to them participating in the Kip Keino Classic alongside other international athletes,” she said.
The CS was speaking during the launch of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event on Monday morning at Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi.
The one-day event has attracted 265 athletes180 international and 80 local participants — who will compete across three categories, including core, discretionary and national competitions.
Speaking at the launch, Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei described the meeting as evidence of the changing dynamism in sports, which has greatly benefited various stakeholders.
“As things change in athletics, there are also more changes in programmes and events.
“Athletics being an industry is moving very fast and the sport is growing. We have to be part and parcel of this growth by creating more opportunities for athletes, coaches and technical officials and that is what the Continental Tour does,” Tuwei said.
He urged visiting athletes, technical officials and other stakeholders to take time during their stay in Nairobi and savour the sights and sounds Kenya has to offer.
“During the World Under 20 Championship, we had quite a number of visitors who came here. I had two officials of World Athletics who did not only go to Nairobi National Park but also the Maasai Mara. We hope it will be the same case this time round,” he said.
This year’s edition will be sponsored by Absa Bank to the tune of Sh 20 million with CEO Jeremy Awori promising that this is the start of a long-term collaboration with the athletics fraternity.
“We are privileged to be part of Absa Kip Keino Classic Continental Gold Tour event as the title sponsors and we are confident it will provide our athletes with yet another chance to live their winning spirit and show the world what Kenya is made of,” Awori said.