Kenya: All Hands on Deck in Final Push to 'Classic'

18 September 2020

The government on Thursday assured Kenya will host a successful Kip Keino Classic, laying to rest fears that the Nairobi leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour would be still-born.

The top leadership at the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage said they have successfully midwifed cash flows from Treasury to the Local Organising Committee of the October 3 final leg of the Continental Tour that will be hosted at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The one-day meeting will feature eight national, nine discretionary and eight core events, with an international broadcast window of two hours (from 4pm to 6pm).

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, along with the chairman of the Kip Keino Classic Jack Tuwei and meet director Barnabas Korir, were yesterday unanimous in optimism.

They toured the competition venue at the Nyayo National Stadium with CS Amina saying it's now all hands on deck in the final push for the final leg of the seven-leg 2020 series.

The Continental Tour sits a rung below the Diamond League with World Athletics happy with the viewership figures the former has attracted in its infant season.

"The running track is being fixed to bring it to international standards and we shall hand it over well ahead of the Kip Keino Classic," Okudo said.

He added that temporary screens will be erected for the Kip Keino Classic and assured that from October 4, immediately after the Classic, further refurbishment will continue at the stadium.

The PS also disclosed that from next month, work will be launched to construct a canopy over the rest of the Nyayo National Stadium's terraces to ensure all spectators gain cover. Currently, only the main, VIP stand has a canopy.

'Class Two' certification

The PS said delays in cash disbursement to the Classic's LOC were due to the fact that the monies were being sourced from Treasury, and not from the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund which falls under the ministry's ambit.

Tuwei and Korir said most aspects of preparations are on track.

"Our technical team has assured that they are monitoring the work on the synthetic track to ensure that it remains classified such that whenever any records are broken there, they are ratified without any issue," Tuwei said.

Nyayo National Stadium currently enjoys "Class Two" certification within World Athletics guideline with the Moi International Sports Centre at Kasarani the country's only "Class One" venue.

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