What you need to know:
- The Continental Tour kicks off in Turku, Finland, with the Paavo Nurmi Games on August 11
- According to Barnaba Korir, Meeting Director of the Kip Keino Classic, technical officials settled for the refurbished Nyayo Stadium because the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, will be used by the government as an emergency centre and holding point for Covid-19 patients should need arise
- Korir also said that the new synthetic track that is supposed to replace the current surface is already under procurement and should be laid within the next one-and-a-half months
Organisers are stepping up preparations to ensure Nyayo National Stadium is ready for September’s Kip Keino Classic, one of the legs of the inaugural World Athletics Continental Tour.
The Continental Tour kicks off in Turku, Finland, with the Paavo Nurmi Games on August 11.
The Turku meet is named after Finland’s distance running great Paavo Nurmi, winner of nine individual and team Olympics gold medals and three silvers scooped at the Games of 1920 (Antwerp), 1924 (Paris) and 1928 (Amsterdam),
According to Barnaba Korir, Meeting Director of the Kip Keino Classic, technical officials settled for the refurbished Nyayo Stadium because the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, will be used by the government as an emergency centre and holding point for Covid-19 patients should need arise.
“The preparations are at an advanced stage and we have had successive meetings which have borne fruits. So far, the stadium, which shall hold the one-day event, is almost ready,” said Korir in Eldoret.
Korir also said that the new synthetic track that is supposed to replace the current surface is already under procurement and should be laid within the next one-and-a-half months.
“We have asked the government to hasten the procurement of the tartan track which should be delivered and laid within one and a half months and we shall be ready to go. This is an important competition for us as a federation because it will open avenues for bigger events in future,” added Korir.
The timing system that will be used at the event is the same with that shall be used in the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi next year.
“We already have the timing system which was to be used during the World Under-20 Championships that was postponed to next year. After the event we shall keep it until next year because that was its purpose,” he said.
Korir also said that they are still working on the fans issues and it depends on how the virus will turn out in the few coming months adding that there are already guidelines laid by the World Athletics.
“We have the guidelines from the World Athletics given to the Ministry of Health so that they can give us the way forward and determine the resumption of sports in future. That will also determine if there will be fans at the stadium,” said Korir, who is also the Athletics Kenya executive committee member.
He also said that they will be watching the Turku event to weigh what should be done after the resumption of sports which had been halted since March because of the virus.
The tour will feature mostly events that have been removed from Diamond League prime time starting from the inaugural 2020 season and they include 200 metres, 3000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump.
There will also be the national part where athletes shall be selected to compete before the competitions begin. The Continental Tour is divided in gold, silver and bronze levels. Status will be determined by the quality of competition and prize money on offer.
Continental Tour schedule
• Paavo Nurmi Games (Turku, Finland, August 11);
• Istvan Gyulai Memorial (Szekesfehervar, Hungary, August 19);
• Seiko Golden Grand Prix (Tokyo, Japan, August 23);
• Kamila Skolimowska Memorial (Silesia, Poland, September 6);
• Ostrava Golden Spike (Ostrava, Czech Republic, September 8);
• Memorial Borisa Hanzekivica (Zagreb, Croatia, September 15);
• Kip Keino Classic (Nairobi, Kenya, September 26)
• Nanjing Continental Tour Meeting (Nanjing, China, TBC)