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Nairobi to host final in World Athletics Continental Tour

By AFP

Added 2nd October 2020 02:49 PM

Nairobi is the seventh and final stop of the series which began in Turku, Finland on August 11, after three planned events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Nairobi to host final in World Athletics Continental Tour

Athletes in action. AFP PHOTO

Nairobi is the seventh and final stop of the series which began in Turku, Finland on August 11, after three planned events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Kenya will on Saturday hold the finals of the World Athletics Continental Tour, one of the first major sporting events in Africa since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nairobi is the seventh and final stop of the series which began in Turku, Finland on August 11, after three planned events were cancelled due to the pandemic.

The competition includes five events that were removed from the 2020 Diamond League circuit: steeplechase, 200m, 3,000m, triple jump and discus.

Kenya has named it the Kip Keino Classic after legendary athlete Kipchoge Keino.

Kenyan world 3,000m steeplechase champion and record holder Beatrice Chepkoech told AFP she hoped to fight back in the race after two successive defeats.

Chepkoech was narrowly beaten by her compatriot Hyvin Kiyeng in the Berlin leg of the tour on September 13 and both women will contest the final on Saturday.

The 29-year-old meanwhile finished third in last Friday's Doha Diamond league final where she was pipped on the line by World 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri and Agnes Tirop.

"I just didn't have that finishing power on the day. But I believe I have worked hard on my speed over the last week and I'm ready for the race on Saturday," said Chepkoech.

Other contenders are Kenyan-born Bahraini Winfred Mutile Yavi, who is the current Asian steeplechase champion and Australia's record holder Genevieve Gregson.

The Olympic and world men's steeplechase champion, Conseslus Kipruto, should have fully recovered from the coronavirus for his first race since winning the world title in Doha last October.

The two-time world champion dropped out of the shorter 800m in the Doha Diamond League last Friday, nearly seven weeks after testing positive for the virus.

"A champion is defined not by their wins, but by how they recover after their fall," Kipruto, who is set to renew his rivalry with world 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Soufianne El Bakkali of Morocco, told AFP.

The Ethiopian crack long distance trio of Ahmed Edris, Selemon Barega and Hagos Gebrhiwet are expected to dominate the men's 5,000m and 10,000m races.

Nigerian men's 100m and 200m champion Usheorite Itsekiri and Egypt's 100m woman runner Bassant Hemida head the list of foreign sprinters for the 21.7 million shilling ($200,000) event.

Itsekiri, who will be competing in his first event since the Doha world champs, will compete alongside his compatriot Jerry Japka and veteran American sprinter Mike Rodgers.

Hemida, who set an Egyptian national 100m record in the Czech Republic early this month, faces tough opposition in the 200m against Nigeria's Joy Udo-Gabriel and Britain's Kristal Awuah.

Ivory Coast's Arthur Cisse is favorite to take the men's 200m following his performance at the Doha Diamond League where he set a national record of 20.23 seconds.

South African Sinesipho Damble, 18 and with a personal best of 20.43sec, will also compete in the event.

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