Strict Covid-19 measures at Nyayo National Stadium as Kip Keino Classic passes without incident
Nairobi, October 4, 2020
The Kip Keino Classic, one of the seven legs of the 2020 World Athletics Tour “Gold Label” meetings concluded in Nairobi on Saturday (3 October) without a hitch.
With total cases of Covid-19 infections reaching 38,923 and 725 deaths by the day of the event on 3 October, there was no taking chances with the health of the athletes, organisers and the limited number of fans granted entry into the refurbished Nyayo National Stadium.
The Local Organising Committee pulled out all the stops with the help of Kenyan health authorities to stage a successful event amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which occasioned the postponement of the inaugural World Athletics Continental Tour series.
The Kip Keino Classic marked the end of the shortened athletics season, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aware of the need to ensure everyone’s safety, the LOC ensured it followed the guidelines for sports in accordance with the Ministry of Health and WHO rules and regulations.
One of the key components was to ensure the availability, in plenty, of hand washing facilities, sanitisers at every entry point.
Despite athletics being such an emotional competition, handshakes and hugs to celebrate achievements during and after events was discouraged.
The Media Centre was set up with emphasis on social distancing.
No press conferences were allowed inside the stadium except for flash interviews for athletes which were conducted from 1.5 metres’ distance.
The Kip Keino Classic was initially penned for 2 May before World Athletics put the series under the freezer as part of global efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Despite the restrictions on the number of fans, the Nairobi event still captured the imagination of Kenyans what with the impressive media coverage.
With the help of the Kenya Health authorities and World Athletics guidelines, the Kip Keino LOC ensured sanitisation points were well equipped to cater for the athletes, competition organisers, limited fans and invited VIPs that included Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender Margaret Kobia and, of course, the legend himself, Kipchoge Keino.
The LOC will now have to wait for the final report by the World Athletics on the efficacy of the measures put in place.