The Kip Keino Classic: What you need to know
Hellen Obiri is one of the big stars expected at the Kip Keino Classic today. [AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV]

The inaugural 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour is an annual one-day event run across 10 cities in the world.

It is divided into Gold, Silver and Bronze labels.

The Gold label is World Athletics’ second-tier event below the Diamond League.

The ten (10) designated cities to host the Gold tour are; Tokyo (Japan), Nanjing (China), Ostrava (Czech Republic), Hengelo (The Netherlands), Turku (Finland), Kingston (Jamaica), Szekesfehervar (Hungary), Silesia (Poland), Zagreb (Croatia) and Nairobi (Kenya).

World Athletics Continental Tour has five (5) core events: 200m, 3000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump which were cut off from the top-tier IAAF Diamond League and other ‘discretionary disciplines’.

Each gold event will award $200,000 (Sh21 million) in prize money. There will be $20,000 (Sh2.1 million) to be won in each core discipline. The winner takes home $6,000 (Sh651, 000) and the lowest $800 (Sh87, 000) in the core disciplines.

Besides the prize money for the 1st to 8th ranked athletes in the core disciplines, ranking points are also on offer.

The best athletes in the core events will get Wildcard entries to the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2021.

The Nairobi World Athletics Continental Tour

Officially named Kip Keino Classic after athletics icon Kipchoge Keino.

The Nairobi edition was initially supposed to be staged on May 2, but World Athletics delayed the race to October 3 as the world grapples with the ravages of COVID-19 pandemic.

Kip Keino Classic will be staged at the 35,000-seater Nyayo National Stadium today.

Kip Keino Classic enjoys a Gold label status and will have 200m sprint, 3000m steeplechase, triple jump, discus throw and hammer throw as the core disciplines

Discretionary events include Javelin and High Jump.

Athletics Kenya National events will run concurrently with the World Athletics Continental Tour.

What World Athletics President Sebastian Coe says about World Athletics Continental Tour

“We are kick starting our campaign to build more quality one-day meetings around the world with the new Continental Tour, which will give more athletes more opportunities to compete across all disciplines, to earn prize money and world rankings points and to build their profiles.”

“Between the Diamond League and the Continental Tour, all disciplines will be catered for and many more athletes will have access to top-class competition. Those that have not been included in the Diamond League final next year will be core disciplines on the Continental Tour.”

The Kip Keino Classic: What you need to know
Kipchoge Keino. [File]

Who is Kipchoge Keino?

Keino won 1,500 metres gold at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games.

Won the 3,000m steeplechase at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games.

He also won two Olympic silver medals, three Commonwealth Games gold medals and two African Games titles in his career.

Keino was among the first athletes inducted into the World Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 80-year-old was awarded the Olympic Laurel at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony for his service to the Olympic movement.

He served as the chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) until 2017.

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