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Revamped Nyayo National Stadium sight to behold

Revamped Nyayo National Stadium sight to behold

Kip Keino Classic race organisers Lennert Aldelhof (L) and Dimitri Stroobants during a tour of the Nyayo National Stadium. PHOTO-ERICK BARASA

Nairobi, 3 October

The Nyayo National Stadium, that has been a beehive of activities in the last few months, is finally opening the gates on Saturday (3 September) for the Kip Keino Classic.

According to the Ministry of Sports Principal Secretary, Joe Okudo, the local organising committee has pulled out all stops to ensure everything runs seamlessly.

“The inspectors from abroad were very impressed with Nyayo National Stadium facelift and have given it a clean bill of health, In fact, they didn’t expect to find such a world class facility in Africa.”

The Kip Keino Classic is the first major sporting activity post Covid-19 in the country and on the continent.

The pandemic led to suspension of all sporting activities and this is a major test for the organisers to stage a successful world-class event in line with the Ministry of Health and World Athletics guidelines.

“This is first of many and we are looking to perfect almost everything.  This is because whatever we do now will inform other sporting activities moving into 2021 and in the future,” added Okudo.

The Local Organising Committee is also working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to come up with modalities to control the number of spectators to attend the event.

“We are looking at having about 6000 spectators in the 25,000-seater capacity Stadium and those who will not be lucky to attend can follow the proceedings live on TV and online streaming.”

“We are ready in all departments and just waiting to see what happens on Saturday. The technical officials have been taken through a vigorous refresher-training seminar having not been active for long due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All the equipment is in place and now we are just finalizing on the planning to execute on the d-day,” said Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei.

He added: “Our athletes are in great form and ready to compete with other top calibre world athletes who will be coming to compete in Nairobi. Sports is an entertainment and we want to ensure we give all the participants an enjoyable memorable experience.”

Benin’s 800m runner Yarigo Noellie had a feel of the track on Thursday as she tried to familiarise herself with the Nairobi weather.

Yarigo, who is ranked 11th in the world, is not bothered about competing at high altitude.

“I have been training alone due to the Covid-19 situation but I’m optimistic of doing well, having trained in Kenya before. So far, the weather is good and the track looks super. I doubt there will be any problem.”

The event has attracted athletes from about 30 countries.