Following the conclusion of the World Athletics Diamond League Series in Zurich, attention now turns to the Continental Tour Gold Series whose final stop for 2021 will be September 18 at the Absa KipKeino Classic in Nairobi.
The second edition of the one-day meeting will be held at the iconic Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
At the launch event in Nairobi, Athletics Kenya announced that it has partnered with Absa Bank as the title sponsor for the prestigious event. Absa is investing approximately Ksh. 20 million in the partnership to support the event.
Arrangements for the second edition Absa Kip Keino Classic are on the home stretch with international athletes already trickling into the country, led by Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco.
El Bakkali lost in the Zurich final to Kenya’s Olympic bronze medallist Benjamin Kigen who also holds the world’s fastest time this season (8:07.12).
Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amb. Amina Mohammed said, “We had a successful first edition of the Kip Keino Classic last year and we are really happy to run it for the second time. We are excited that it will be a series that will be running for a number of years to come as Kenya is fast becoming a destination of choice for international sporting events. We want to maintain those standards.”
Athletics Kenya President Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei commented, “The world is changing not only in athletics but also other sports programmes. Athletics is evolving fast and the sport has become bigger. We have to be part of that growth. We need to create opportunities and competitions for our Kenyan athletes, organizers and technical teams to have more experiences and prosper.”
“We are privileged to be part of Absa Kip Keino Classic Continental Gold Tour event as the title sponsors and we are confident that it will provide our athletes with yet another chance to live their winning spirit and show the world what Kenya is made of. On the other hand, our partnership with Athletics Kenya and the Ministry of Sports will continue supporting sports tourism and promoting our country as a great destination,” said Mr. Jeremy Awori, Absa MD.
About 180 athletes, including Kenya’s world 1,500 metres champions Faith Chepng’etich and Timothy Cheruiyot will converge at Kasarani for the Saturday action that will also celebrate the arrival of a top sponsor, Absa Kenya.