The Nairobi leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour has been named the “Kip Keino Classic”. Nairobi race director Barnaba Korir disclosed that apart from the main event being named after legendary former athlete Kipchoge Keino, the 10,000m will be known as the “Naftali Temu 10,000m Classic.”
“Kipchoge is the father of Kenyan athletics and the world knows him more than any Kenyan in athletics,” said Korir adding that naming the 10,000 at the meeting after legendary Temu will inspire Kenyan athletes to go for the Olympic title come the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games next year.
Kipchoge Keino won two gold medals in the 1500 and 5000 metres at the inaugural All-Africa Games in Brazaville in 1965. Later that year, he broke the 5000 m world record held by Ron Clarke, clocking 13 mins 24.2secs.
At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he won the 1500 metres gold medal (defeating American favourite and world record holder Jim Ryun by 20 metres, the largest winning margin in the history of the event) and 5000 m silver medal. Four years later, he won the 3000 metres steeplechase gold and 1500 metres silver at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He retired in 1973.
The World Athletics Continental Tour was formed by World Athletics last year as the second tier to the prestigious Diamond League.
The Tour will feature mostly events that have been removed from the Diamond League prime time starting from the inaugural 2020 season. They are 10,000, 5,000, 200m, 3000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump.
The Continental Tour that has 10 events is divided into three levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – whose status will be determined by the quality of competition and prize money.
Athletics Kenya plans to stage several meetings starting early August in readiness for the Kip Keino Classic. AK president Jackson Tuwei revealed that if the government relaxes Covid-19 restrictions, they are likely to stage county and regional events before the nationals.
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