Men’s 3000m race at the World Athletics U20 Championships at the Moi International Sports Complex. Aug 18, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco arrived in Nairobi on Saturday ahead of the Kip Keino Classic set for September 18 at Kasarani Stadium.

El Bakkali is among over 260 local and international athletes who have confirmed participation in the final event in the 2021 World Athletics Continental Gold Tour.

Fresh from the Diamond League finals in Zurich, Switzerland, the Moroccan will renew his rivalry with Benjamin Kigen who defeated him to win his maiden Diamond League Trophy.

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon leads Kenyan athletes who will compete at the one-day event where she will be making her debut at the event alongside fast-rising sprints sensation Ferdinand Omanyala.

Omanyala will face off with three-time World 100m champion Justin Gatlin and the fastest man this year Bromell Trayvon all from the United States. 

Other stars on the roster include Namibian teenager and Olympic and Diamond League 200m champion Christine Mboma, her country mate Beatrice Masilingi and World 100m bronze medallist Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou.

World 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley from the United States will take on Commonwealth Games 400m champion Isaac Makwala from Botswana and the Nairobi World Under-20 200m bronze medallist Sinesipho Dambile from South Africa in men’s 200m.

There will be nine core events on the card during the Kip Keino Classic; men and women’s hammer throw, men’s pole vault, women’s long jump, men’s 100m, men and women’s 200m and men and women’s 3,000m steeplechase.

The men and women’s 5,000m, men and women’s 1,500m, men and women’s 800m and men’s javelin throw will fall under the discretionary events among others.

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