The decision by World Athletics (formerly International Association of Athletics Federations) to pick Nairobi to host the first meeting of the Continental Tour is good news to athletics fans.
The Continental Tour, a series of the world’s best one-day athletics meetings outside the Diamond League, will start in Nairobi on May 2 and conclude in Zagreb, Croatia, on September 15.
The choice of Nairobi to host one of the 10 meetings of the inaugural edition of the Tour is a vote of confidence in Kenya as a top athletics destination and home of world-beating runners.
Kenya hosted a successful World Under-18 Athletics Championships in 2017.
It’s from that success that Kenya was picked to host the World Under-20 Championships on July 7-12. Kenya is also bidding to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships.
SPRUCE UP STADIUM
Boosted by a robust campaign led by the Sports ministry and Athletics Kenya at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, and at the World Athletics gala in Monaco last year, Kenya beat Pretoria and Oregon in a tight race to host the meeting.
The Tour, organised after most long-distance races (5,000m, 10,000m and 3,000m steeplechase) were struck off the Diamond League’s 90-minute live broadcast window, will offer athletes in these races a chance to compete before their home fans at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
The event will be the highest senior international meeting to be held in Kenya since the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa.
To deliver a world-class meeting of the Continental Tour, the Sports ministry and Athletics Kenya must work to ensure Kasarani Stadium is renovated to the required standards, because the event will be a dry run for the World Under-20 Championships.