Kip Keino classic

Korir tips sprinters to raise the roof at Kip keino Classic

Korir , also the Athletics Kenya youth development subcommittee chair, urged Kenyans to turn up in their numbers and cheer on their favourite athletes

In Summary

•He was speaking shortly after Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs confirmed that he will be docking in the country this week to participate in the one-day event.

•The Americans have not been dominating for a while although they have a lot of promising youngsters coming through

Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy celebrates after winning 100m gold at the Tokoy Olympics
Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy celebrates after winning 100m gold at the Tokoy Olympics
Image: /REUTERS

Kip Keino Classic meet director Barnaba Korir says they have received an abundance of applications from sprinters worldwide, interested in competing at Saturday’s event at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.

Korir says the heightened interest in the sprints is one guarantee that this year’s edition will be bigger and better.

“Our stadium has nine lanes and so far all of them are full. The 100m and 200m have attracted a lot of interest and we continue to receive many more, who are interested in running at this event. So far, there is no one who has canceled his/her participation in the sprints,” Korir said.

He was speaking shortly after Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs confirmed that he will be docking in the country this week to participate in the one-day event.

The Italian is the latest of illustrious names who will be in Nairobi after the entry of other elite sprinters such as Olympic 100m silver medalist Fred Kerley of the United States, Olympic 200m silver medalist Kenneth Bednarek, also of the US, as well as Jamaican three-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic 200m silver medalist Christine Mboma and Olympic hammer throw champion Wojciech Nowicki of Poland.

Most importantly, Jacobs’ entry means a rematch of the Tokyo Olympics where he faced off with Kerley in the final as well as Kenya’s own, Ferdinand Omanyala in the semis of the men’s 100m.

Korir says he’s expecting the sprints to headline the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event as the world’s attention shifts to Nairobi on May 7.

“We have seen the impact of Ferdinand Omanyala’s success in the sprints. We expect that this year’s Kip Keino Classic will be bigger and better…probably the Diamond League will not even be able to match what we are going to see on Saturday,” he said.

“The sprints scene has changed a lot. The Americans have not been dominating for a while although they have a lot of promising youngsters coming through."

He added: "In recent years, it has been the Jamaicans and those from the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries in control.”

So far, 160 athletes have confirmed their date with destiny at Kasarani, including Kenyan athletes who will be competing across the three categories of discretionary, core and national events.

Korir, also the Athletics Kenya youth development sub-committee chair, urged Kenyans to turn up in their numbers and cheer on their favourite athletes.

This will be the first time fans will be allowed into the stadium after the government lifted Covid-19 restrictions in the sports industry.