It’s indeed a sigh of relief after World Athletics finally set a date for the Continental Tour Gold meet in Nairobi on September 26. We all know that the event was earlier scheduled to open the series on May 2 but was put off indefinitely due to Covid-19.
In short, Nairobi will retain its place in the Continental Tour with eight of the 10 meetings initially planned set to go on under new dates.
This is good news for Kenyan athletics considering that we can now kick-start the season and our athletes can at least look forward to something before the end of the season and the start of the new season. At least, our athletes can train, looking forward to something or with a particular target.
It’s been quiet in the athletics circles with runners operating in the dark in as far as Covid-19 is concerned but for now, we can confidently say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. In the recent past, some athletes have had to turn to other chores just to kill boredom or put food on the table and we are hoping that things can now go back to normal.
But in as much as the date is set, the ball is in our court to deliver a successful event. We all know that being given an event is one thing and delivering results is another.
However, we in athletics are determined to deliver on our mandate despite the coronavirus disruptions. Planning meetings for the event have never stopped despite the virus and we are already working on a package that will be attractive to all. We want to see whether we can add more events to ensure we increase the number of our participants.
We will have 18 gold events lined up for the night with a total prize purse of at least Sh21.3m ($200,000) on offer.
This is indeed good money considering that by that time, we will just be trying to come to terms with the effects of coronavirus. We are, however, hoping that the event will set us up not only for the international circuit but also the Olympic Games next year.
Remember, we are supposed to host the event for the next three years and a lot will depend on how we handle the first one. As they say, sports unite and there is no better way to do this than deliver the best event.
We would, therefore, like to urge our partners and sponsors to come on board help us return the sport on the track.
Korir is the Athletics Kenya Nairobi branch chairman.