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AK plans warm up races ahead of "Kip Keino Classic"

Wednesday May 27 2020
chwa_pix

Rongai Athletics Club Elijah Manang'oi (in white) leads Timothy Sein, Edwin Melly and Timothy Cheruiyot (right) in training at Nyayo National Stadium on May 26, 2020. The team was training for 2, 000m virtual race between Team Cheruiyot and Team Ingebrigtsen of Norway. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI

Athletics Kenya plans to stage several meetings starting early August in readiness for the "Kip Keino Classic", one of the legs in the World Athletics Continental Tour due September 26 in Nairobi.

AK president Jackson Tuwei said that if the government is to relax Covid-19 restrictions, they are likely to stage county and regional events before the nationals.

“Institutions will also be allowed to select their teams for the nationals if time allows,” said Tuwei who was speaking at the Nyayo National Stadium where the Kip Keino Classic Local Organising Committee made a tour on Tuesday.

“There will be no weekend meetings because of the short period,” said Tuwei, who was accompanied by "Kip Keino Classic" meeting director Barnaba Korir.

“We need to come with a calendar so as to allow the athletes to start training well but that is subject to the government’s directives,” explained Korir.

AK had completed its cross country season that culminated with the National Cross Country Championships on February 15 at the Ngong racecourse where a national team for the Africa Cross Country was picked.

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AK had managed two weekend meetings in Eldoret and Nairobi with the last coming on March 5-6 at Kasarani before everything came to a halt when the country record its first Covid-19 case on March 13.

Two more meetings were due in Embu and Kisumu before paving way for the institutional and national championships.

Korir said it will be imperative quality teams are picked for the discretionary and national events that will feature alongside the main World Athletics races.

The Tour will feature mostly events that have been removed from Diamond League prime time starting from the inaugural 2020 season. They are 10,000, 5,000, 200m, 3000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump.

“This will be a good opportunity for our athletes to compete after a long stay from action,” said Korir adding that World Athletics is determined to help Kenya stage the event. “We shall pick the finest for the Classic if time will allow.”

Korir said if they will still be challenges in flights, there are special plans to bring in top athletes from the neighbouring counties like Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa for the event.

“We already have 10 top athletes’ managers from across the world who are planning to tour the country that time,” explained Korir.

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