Kenya’s 1500m Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon will tonight go hunting for more glory at the Ostrava Golden Spike World Athletics Continental tour as Nairobi promises to host a successful event next month.
When the World Athletics Continental Tour began last month in Turku, Finland, Kenyan athletes were missing in action.
But at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial Continental tour gold meeting on Sunday, world bronze medallist Ferguson Rotich raced to victory in the 800m.
And as Kenyans take to the start lines at the World Athletics Continental Tour meetings, Nairobi is preparing to host the final tour next month, on October 3.
Yesterday, Athletics Kenya executive committee member Barnaba Korir said Nyayo Stadium will be ready to host the world tour dubbed Kip Keino classic.
Korir, who is also the AK youth and development committee chairman, said some final touches will be done at the refurbished stadium ahead of the world tour.
“Nyayo Stadium will be ready for the meeting. We have some issues with the tartan, but the local organising committee will fix everything before October 3,” he said.
The AK official added that AK has organised a test competition at the venue on September 19, to gauge its preparedness, just two weeks to the continental tour.
World bronze medallist and 3000m steeplechase Olympian Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco will be facing Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto in the Kip Keino classic.
AK said tens of international athletes have confirmed participation in the Nairobi race.
Kamila Skolimowska Memorial continental tour was the fourth meet of the tour, which forms the second tier of international one-day meetings after the Diamond League.
Today, the show moves to Ostrava in Czech Republic where Kenya’s Kipyegon is the 1500m favourite.
After settling for another world record near-miss in an electrifying display at the Brussels Diamond League on Friday, Kipyegon is set to continue her rivalry with Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba at the Ostrava Golden Spike.
During the Monaco Diamond League last month, Kipyegon almost smashed the 24-year-old 1000m world record after clocking 2:29.92. The 2:28.98 record held by Russia’s Svetlana Masterkova has stood since 1996.
She is returning to her specialty (1,500m) with her major assignment being to outdo Dibaba.
Former world Under-20 cross country champion Sheila Chelagat will be chansing glory in the 5000m race.
Sixteen events including 100m, 11om hurdles, 1500m and 3000m steeplechase were lined up in the first meeting at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland on August 1.
The Székesfehérvár Gyulai István Memorial, Hungary followed in August 19, without Kenyan track stars.
During the Hungary meeting, world 200m champion Noah Lyles of the United States swept the sprint titles at the Istvan Gyulai.
At the Golden Grand Prix Continental Tour in Tokyo, on August 23, Nozomi Tanaka, with the home advantage, set Japan’s 1500m record.
Tanaka led the field through the first lap in 66.42.
World and three-time African javelin champion Julius Yego will be taking part in the Nairobi meeting.