What you need to know:
- Due to the foregoing, we believe Kenya is in a prime position to host many more global sports events, including the World Championships. In the long term, these events will cement our reputation as a sporting destination.
- Therefore, let us all come to Lobo Village on Saturday and play our roles, including fans, in achieving this great milestone.
The next edition of the globe’s grandest athletics event, the World Championships, will be held in Tokyo in the summer of next year. Had things gone differently, this global competition would have been held here in Nairobi.
Along with the Japanese capital, we were the leading contenders to host this prestigious event, which would have no doubt been a milestone in our reputation as a sports hub.
Thankfully, we have more than enough opportunities to host future editions of the World Championships.
One of these opportunities is via the Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country Tour meeting whose third edition is scheduled for this Saturday at Lobo Village in Eldoret.
Many may mutter, “What has a cross-country competition got to do with a track and field event?” Let me explain:
The Sirikwa Classic is an opportunity to prove to World Athletics (WA) that we are more than capable of hosting events of a global magnitude.
This cross-country competition is one of the most prestigious in WA’s calendar of events and hence requires mercurial preparations.
One of the hallmarks of success as far as its organisation is concerned is the number of elite athletes who register to participate in it —both foreign and local. Since the first edition in 2022, the number of athletes registering and running in this one-day event has grown incrementally.
This year, the number has increased tenfold into thousands. The number of athletes from outside Kenya come from far and wide including the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Ukraine, among others.
Furthermore, WA is keen on the organisation of the event in terms of prize money as well as the design of the course.
This year’s prize money will see winners of the senior races as well as Under-20 categories paid in dollars and not Kenyan shillings.
Moreover, the prize money for the Sirikwa Classic is larger than the other legs of the World Cross Country Tour.
The course has also been designed by WA standards for cross-country events.
Technical director, Ibrahim Hussein, has combed through the course with a toothcomb and paid attention to every detail. Security protocols have been formulated to ensure the safety of all those who will be at the venue on the material day.
Due to the foregoing, we believe Kenya is in a prime position to host many more global sports events, including the World Championships. In the long term, these events will cement our reputation as a sporting destination.
Therefore, let us all come to Lobo Village on Saturday and play our roles, including fans, in achieving this great milestone.
Korir is the Chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi branch. [email protected]