•Tuwei made the remarks during a colorful ceremony at a Nairobi hotel, where Absa Bank unveiled an Sh60m sponsorship deal towards the support of the fourth edition of the Kip Keino Classic tour.
•Tuwei said they are also working towards realising the dream of having more World Continental Tour events in Africa, whether at gold, silver, or bronze levels.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei has disclosed plans to upgrade the status of the Kip Keino Classic Tour to the Diamond League meeting.
Tuwei made the remarks during a colourful ceremony at a Nairobi hotel, where Absa Bank unveiled a Sh60m sponsorship deal towards the support of the fourth edition of the Kip Keino Classic tour.
The eagerly-awaited showpiece, which is part of the World Athletics Continental Tour series, has been slated for May 13 at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.
Tuwei said the Tour has been improving with every edition and it is high time it was upgraded.
“Since we held the first edition in 2020, we have done very well as a country of course with the sport of government and there was a need to propel it to new heights,” he noted.
“This competition has become part of the rich Kenyan athletics heritage owing to the many years of the prowess and successes of our athletes on the world stage.
Negotiations with World Athletics have reached an advanced stage to have the Kip Keino Classic as a Diamond League meet.
“As we go forward, we also want to upgrade this event because we are now heading towards the fourth edition of the competition.
“We have applied to World Athletics to upgrade this event to a Diamond League race and things are not looking bad. It is being considered,” Tuwei said.
“There is only one Diamond League in Africa (Rabat, Morocco) and hopefully the next time we are gathered here, we will be talking about a Diamond League event in Nairobi,” Tuwei added.
They are also working towards realizing the dream of having more World Continental Tour events in Africa, whether at gold, silver, or bronze levels.
“The Botswana Grand Prix was born out of the Kip Keino Classic. We are happy to see that this event inspires other countries to host other legs of the World Continental Tour across the continent."
Tuwei noted Kenya had become synonymous with athletics over the years and will continue to do so in major international competitions.
“Athletics Kenya is now 73 years and we must get to understand the history and where we are coming from. So we want to thank all the athletes who have given us such a good name over the years since our first outing in Madagascar,” he noted.
“There is little wonder that we continue to attract elite athletes from around the world who not only see these championships as a build-up for the World Championships and the Diamond League but also a chance to visit the land that has produced athletics greats such as Kipchoge Keino.”
He thanked Kenyan athletics icon Kipchoge Keino for allowing AK to use his name for the tour once the country earned the hosting rights.
“He has done a lot for the sports and the world, whose achievements have put Kenya on the world map.” Tuwei urged Kenyans to turn out in large numbers on Saturday to support our athletes.