On your marks, get set... stars ready for showdown at Kip Keino Classic

Friday May 12 2023

Africa 100m record holder Kenyan Ferdinard Omanyala (left) with his younger brother Isaac Omurwa work-out at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi on May 10, 2023. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NMG


The long awaited fourth edition of the Absa Kip Keino Classic, a World Athletics Continental Gold Tour event, rolls out on Saturday at Kenya's premier athletics cathedral. 

The championships that continues to grow in stature has once again attracted Olympic, world and continental champions as well as world and continental record holders alike.

In total, 251 athletes both local and international, are set to unleash their prowess at the 60,000-seater Moi International Kasarani Sports Centre as they chase varying aspirations starting at 10am.

Undoubtedly, their ultimate dream and destination will be the World Athletics Championships scheduled for August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary.

Athletics Kenya has been rallying Kenyans to turn out in numbers to witness history being made at Kasarani with entry to the event being declared free.

Absa Kenya came on board as the title sponsor for the third year running with an improved package of Ksh60 million ($438,276) as the Kenyan government pumped in Ksh320 million ($2.34 million) to the event.


Integrated telecommunication service provider Safaricom heeded the call with Ksh9.5 million ($69,393).

The international athletes will compete in the core category that has nine races and discretionary category that has eight events while the national category has six events.

Read: Kenya bids to host Diamond League meet

Live on NTV

The highlight of the championships that will be relayed live on Nation Television (NTV) will be the men’s 100 metres pitting the Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala and World 100m silver medallist Marvin Bracy-Williams and others.

The showstopper that will also see fast-rising Kenyan sprinter Steven Odhiambo take the blocks, will close the day’s business at 5.54pm.

Odhiambo has replaced Samuel Imeta, who has been withdrawn from the championships over unspecified reasons.

With multi Olympic and world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce withdrawing at the last minute with a knee injury, the women’s 100m race that will feature former national champion Monica Safania and Esther Mbagari, has been thrown open.

Those to watch out for are world 4x100m champion Twanisha Terry and 2020 Tokyo Olympics 4x100m silver medallist Daniels Teahna from the US. The race goes down at 4.05pm.

Sha’Carri to feature

America’s fast-rising sprints sensation Sha’Çarri Richardson will definitely be the highlight in women’s 200m that will feature Kenya’s former national 100m champion and record holder Eunice Kadogo. The race takes off at 5.23pm.


American sprints sensation Sha'Carri Richardson trains at Kasarani on May 9, 2023. PHOTO | KIP KEINO CLASSIC

Events to watch out for are the men’s hammer throw that has Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki from Poland with his fellow country woman, the three-time Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk, also defending her hammer throw title.

National men’s champion Dominic Abunda and former national women’s champion Rose Rakamba will take the cage to brush shoulders with some of the world’s finest hammer throwers.

Two-time reigning World javelin champion Anderson Peters brings the battle to the 2015 world champion Julius Yego’s doorsteps while women’s world high jump silver medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukraine is favourite to win her event.

Read: World javelin champ happy to be in 'motherland Africa'

The national program that has six events starts at 10am with men's long jump and will be followed by men's shot put at 10.05am.

The men's javelin throw that is one of the discretionary events will go down at 12.30pm.

The men's 10,000m is a national event which will go down at 2pm followed by women's hammer throw that is a core event at 2.12pm.

Then women's and men’s 400m hurdles, which are national events, will run at 2.38pm and 2.48pm respectively.

The women's 400m will be the last national event at 2.57pm.

The women's 5,000m, men's 400m and men's 5,000m that are discretionary will take place at 3.06pm, 3.30pm and 3.40pm in that order.

Women's high jump, which is a core event, will start at 3.45pm.

The live broadcast courtesy of Nation Media Group’s Nation Television (NTV) will commence at 4pm with the women's 100m.