American Star Gatlin Arrives in Kenya for Kip Keino Classic

Two-time World 100m champion Justin Gatlin has arrived in Kenya ahead of Saturday’s Kip Keino Classic.

Gatlin said he has travelled around the world for 20 years but coming to Kenya felt special.

“I have been to South Africa twice and Morocco twice two but this is my first time in Kenya. I wanted to experience the real Africa and that is why I am here in motherland,” said Gatlin, who arrived in the country on Thursday.

“I feel excited to be here… it’s an amazing feeling,” said Gatlin, adding that getting to compete in Africa is something black Americans like him always miss.

“I know we have a great following in Africa and coming to run in front of people who don’t get to to see us quite often is pretty satisfying,” said Gatlin, who was accompanied by his coach Dennis Mitchell.

“They have always cheered me and I have always reciprocated but coming to see where they come from is special,” said Gatlin, who claimed a double at the 2005 World Championships, winning both the 100m and 200m titles.

Gatlin, singled out 2015 World javelin champion Julius Yego and latest sprint sensation Ferdinand Omanyala as his local athletics idols.

Gatlin, the 2017 World 100m champion, noted that the performances by Yego in wining gold at 2015 World Championships before going on to claim on win silver at Rio Olympics with Omanyala running 9.86 seconds in 100m recently shows that it’s not just about distance running.

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