What you need to know:
- A total of 103 athletes from 32 countries are expected to grace the fourth edition of the Absa Kip Keino Classic, a round of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series.
- Kibiwott will face training mate and former World and Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto, former World Under-20 Championships gold medallist Amos Serem and Emmanuel Wafula.
Former Commonwealth Games silver medalist Abraham Kibiwott will be chasing a hat-trick of Absa Kip Keino Classic titles in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at Kasarani on May 13.
A total of 103 athletes from 32 countries are expected to grace the fourth edition of the Absa Kip Keino Classic, a round of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series.
Kibiwott will face training mate and former World and Olympics champion Conseslus Kipruto, former World Under-20 Championships gold medallist Amos Serem and Emmanuel Wafula.
Amos Kirui, Wilberforce Kones, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen and former World Under-20 Championships silver medallist Leonard Bett complete the Kenyan list.
They face a strong field that includes Ethiopia’s World Under-20 Championships title holder Samuel Duguna, Zerihun Adugna and Negasa Dekeba alongside Ugandans Elphas Ndiwa Toroitich and Leonard Chemutai.
Kibiwott, who trains at Mosoriot, Nandi County, says he is keen on going for the third title after winning in the first edition in 2020 before winning again in 2022.
Morocco’s World and Olympic champion Soufiane El Bakkali won the 2021 edition.
Kibiwott will be using the race to kick-start the season as he eyes a podium at the World Championships slated for August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary.
“My target is to go for the third title in the race which is being held at home and I have prepared well for the race which I believe shall be competitive but on the other hand I trust my training,” said Kibiwott.
He added that the race will also act as build up for him as he heads to Rabat Diamond League race which shall be held on May 28 in Morocco.
“I will be using the race to work on my weak points ahead of the Rabat Diamond League where I expect to meet with the world champion Soufiane El Bakkali but first things first, I have to compete well at the Kip Keino Classic event next weekend and retain my title,” said Kibiwott.
Kipruto will also be seeking to take advantage of the home ground and go for the title after emerging third during the World Championships last year in Eugene, USA.
In the men’s javelin throw, Julius Yego will be seeking to improve on his performance after emerging second last year where he threw 79.59 behind Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman who recorded 83.79.
The two will also be battling it out this year and they will be joined by Belgium’s Timothy Herman, Ukraine’s World Under-20 champion Artur Felfner, Portuguese Leandro Ramos, Manu Quijera from Spain, World Champion in the event Anderson Peters from Grenada and Douw Smit from South Africa.
Yego in an interview said that it is a great opportunity competing in front of home fans who normally watch competitors on TV screens in various events across the world urging Kenyans and athletics fraternity not to miss the event and just get into the stadium and watch the event live.
“I’m looking forward to a good competition after being out of competition since the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year, and being another season I just want to have good results for the fans and for myself,” said Yego.