Kenya bids to stage the premier Diamond League meet

Tuesday May 09 2023
Diamond League Mohammed VI Athletics meeting in Rabat

Women compete in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League Mohammed VI Athletics meeting in Rabat on July 16, 2017. PHOTO | STRINGER VIA AFP


Kenya is hoping to build on its successful hosting of the World Athletics Intercontinental Tour series by bidding for the premier Diamond League meeting, officials said on Friday.

Morocco's capital Rabat is currently the only African city to stage the Diamond League - track and field's elite one-day series - which features 14 host cities in four continents.

Athletics Kenya chief Jackson Tuwei said the country had made an application to World Athletics for the upgrade of the second-tier Intercontinental Tour series, whose fourth edition will be held in Nairobi on Saturday, to become a Diamond League meet.

"We have applied to World Athletics to upgrade the Kip Keino classic continental Tour series to become a Diamond League meet since there's only one African country host of Rabat, Morocco," Tuwei told reporters.

"Our request is being considered, and maybe the next big athletics meeting to be held here in Nairobi will have the Diamond League status," he added.

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The African 100m record by Kenyan sprint star Ferdinand Omanyala and several world leading-times have been set at the Kip Keino classic since it was launched in October 2020.

The women's world 100m champion, Jamaica's Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who thrilled the Kenyan crowd with a sizzling 10.67 second victory a year ago will return to defend her title on Saturday.

Her American rival Sha'Carri Richardson is expected to run in the 200 metres in her first competition in Kenya after pulling out of the event last year.