Big names clash at Kasarani, but just who will blink first?

MArcel Jacobs

Olympic 100 metres champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs (centre), African 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala (left) and America's Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerly during the pre-race press conference on May 6, 2022 on the eve of Kip Keino Classic set for Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kenya hosts third leg of World Athletics Continental Gold Tour series
  • Two-time Olympics champ Fraser-Pryce, Olympics champ Jacobs and African record holder Omanyala to light up today’s championship

Athletics fans will on Saturday be treated to the best collection of track and field stars ever assembled on Kenyan soil.

The field of 231 athletes, who include winners from the Olympic Games, World Athletics Championships, the Commonwealth Games and continental champions, as well as record holders, will face off in the one-day Absa Kip Keino Classic at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

And the announcement by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed that organisers have scrapped the entry fee for the Kip Keino Classic could not have come at a better time.

A large number of fans are expected to flock to the 60,000-seater arena owing to the government’s gesture and more considering that the last two editions in 2020 and 2021 were without fans.

Two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce from Jamaica, Olympic 100m Marcell Jacobs, Africa 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala, Olympics 200m silver medallist Christine Mboma from Namibia and Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley, are among athletes set to bring the arena down.

Four-time world hammer throw champion Paweł Fajdek and Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki, all from Poland will once again bring their rivalry to Nairobi in men’s hammer throw.

Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk from Poland headlines the women's hammer throw that has kenyan champion Lucy Omondi and Roselyne Rakamba.

Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai is out to silence Kenyans girls at home while World 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is eying a glorious return in the men's event.

The championships’ programme that has 21 events; nine Core, eight Discretionary and four National, will start at 12.35pm with the men’s javelin throw.

However, potentially explosive women’s 100m will get the live broadcast program on Nation Television underway at 4.04pm.

Men and women’s 100m, men and women’s 200m, men and women’s 3,000m steeplechase, men and women’s hammer throw and women’s high jump.

The Discretionary events are men’s javelin throw, men and women’s 800m, men and women’s 1,500m, men and women’s 5,000m and women’s 400m.

Men and women’s 400m hurdles, men’s 10,000m and men's 400m are in the National category.

Amina urged Kenyans to turn up in large numbers for the Continental Tour event, which has attracted a galaxy of stars from across the globe.

Amina said that a lot has gone into the preparations of this year's event and thanked World Athletics and the sponsors led by Absa Kenya for their support.

Amina welcomed the athletes who will be taking part in various events and told them to enjoy Kenya's hospitality.

"The fact that the field has Olympic, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and continental medallists attests to the growth of the Kip Keino Classic," said Amina, adding that the event has recorded huge success and it's a high time it's taken to the next level.

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