Fifth edition of Kip Keino Classic launched at Nyayo National Stadium

It is all systems go for the fifth edition of the Kip Keino Classic World Continental Tour Gold, set for April 20 at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The media launch for the one-day competition was conducted at the same venue on Thursday morning where everyone was urged to throng the stadium in over a week’s time for a fun-filled day of entertainment both on and off the track and field.

Athletics Kenya (AK) president Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Jack Tuwei said athletics fans should expect fireworks on that material day as athletes fight for top honours in their respective categories.

“We are calling on everyone to come and watch the Kip Keino Classic. This is the only race of its kind in Africa. There will be fireworks in this place (Nyayo) on that Saturday as athletes compete,” Lt. Gen (Rtd) Tuwei said.

Lt. Gen (Rtd) Tuwei credited all stakeholders for making the event a success thus far, beginning with the inaugural edition in 2020.

“To organise an event of such calibre for five editions is not easy. I want to thank the organising committee for the hard work they have put in to make this event a success for the past five editions. A big thank you to the government for their support and the ideas they have provided us, which we have included in the planning for this competition,” he said.

This year’s edition — as is the norm — has attracted the who-is-who in world athletics including Olympics 200m silver medalist Kenneth Bednarek, the 2016 Olympics javelin champion Thomas Rohler, Olympics hammer throw champion Wojciech Nowicki and the 2022 world hammer throw champion Pavel Fajdeck.

Complementing this foreign legion are homegrown heroes including Commonwealth Games 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala, World 800m champion Mary Moraa and World 800m silver medalist Emmanuel Wanyonyi, among others.

Speaking during the launch, race director Barnaba Korir called on Kenyans to come and support these athletes on competition day.

“Those are the athletes who will be competing and we ask all Kenyans to come and fill the stadium so that we can have a memorable event even as we think of how to host bigger events in the future,” Korir said.

He said all preparations are as per schedule including the tartan track, which is undergoing minor repairs.

“We have talked to World Athletics and they have said the track is in accordance with the standards and only needs minor repairs. That is what we are undertaking and then we will be good to go,” Korir added.

Absa Bank Kenya will once again be the main title sponsor of Kip Keino Classic, pumping Ksh 40 million towards the organisation and staging of the event.

The bank’s Consumer Banking director Moses Muthui said Absa’s sponsorship of the event is in line with its longstanding passion for sports.

“Absa believes in supporting Kenyan sports. Over the past 10 years, we have invested over Ksh 1.2 billion in sports including golf, athletics and football, among others. We remain committed to this endeavour because we believe your story matters,” Muthui said.

Also present at Thursday’s event was Sports Principal Secretary Peter Tum and deputy speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Boss Shollei.

Eng Tum said Kip Keino Classic is pivotal to the government’s agenda for the sports industry in Kenya and assured of their support for years to come.

“This event is important to the Ministry of Sports. From where I sit, the future of Kenyan sports is bright and that’s why we want to support events such as these.We will continue to support the Kip Keino Classic in a big way,” the PS said.

On her part, Hon Shollei expressed her admiration for Kenyan athletes and acknowledged their crucial role in bringing honour to the country.

“I admire Kenyan sportsmen and women for the hard work they put in to get to the level that they are. Whenever I am abroad, I am always proud to say I come from Kenya…the home of champions. It really is a honour,” she said.

This year’s edition will be held at Nyayo Stadium since the first one in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Athletics Kenya

Media and Communication

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