The second edition of the Kip Keino Classic will be held on September 18, 2021, World Athletics has announced.
This year’s inaugural Kip Keino Classic, held on October 3 at the Nyayo National Stadium, was successful and has been receiving good reviews.
About 30 countries were represented at the inaugural competition, Africa’s only leg on the Continental Tour circuit that was broadcast live to a global audience by NTV.
The 2021 Kip Keino Classic will come hot on the heels of World Under-20 Championships that will be held from September 17 to 21 at the Moi International Sports Centre.
According to the WA calendar released on Friday, Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium will set the scene for the start of the 2021 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting series, after a successful launch of the new competition this year.
The Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi will, once again, be the final leg on the Tour, although the date of a meeting in Nanjing, China, is yet to be confirmed.
The 2021 Continental Tour Gold meeting calendar features 11 meetings in 10 countries across four continents.
“The Tokyo meeting on 9 May, which will serve as an Olympic test event less than 12 weeks before athletics action gets underway at the Olympic Games, will kick off the second season of the Gold series,” the WA statement said.
“For many of the athletes expected to compete, this meeting will provide their first look at the state-of-the-art facility that will host the Olympic athletics competition as well as the Games opening and closing ceremonies.”
According to WA, the aim of the World Athletics Continental Tour is “to create a coherent global tour of the best international one-day meets outside of the Wanda Diamond League, reaching across every continental area.”
“The tour comprises Gold, Silver and Bronze level meetings spanning the globe and held from February to December.”
Due to global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, seven of the original 10 Gold meetings were held this year “collectively showcasing a slew of dazzling performances, highlighted by javelin champion Johannes Vetter’s mighty effort to register the second longest throw in history, and the longest for 24 years, 97.76m, at the Skolimowska Memorial meeting in Chorzow, Poland in September,” WA said.
“Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser also showed exceptional form in a series of appearances, as the new series proved popular with many of the sport’s biggest stars, including Karsten Warholm, Noah Lyles, Sifan Hassan, Dafne Schippers and Christian Taylor.”
WA President Sebastian Coe said the meetings in 2020 have given his organization and the sport confidence going forward.
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“This year has presented tremendously difficult conditions for launching a new one-day series, but the Continental Tour has thrived in its first year, attracting huge support from both athletes and fans, and giving us great confidence that it will go from strength to strength in the coming years,” WA President Sebastian Coe said.
“One of our primary goals at World Athletics is to improve the competitive and earning opportunities for elite athletes around the world and the Continental Tour is doing that with the creation of new meetings like the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi.
“This is also creating new avenues for fans to watch our leading athletes, either in person or via broadcast or livestream, as has been primarily the case this year.”
The 2021 Continental Tour Gold calendar:
9 May: Continental Tour Meeting, Tokyo (Japan);
19 May: Golden Spike, Ostrava (Czech Republic);
5 Jun: Racers Adidas Grand Prix, Kingston (Jamaica);
6 Jun: FBK Games, Hengelo (Netherlands);
8 Jun: Paavo Nurmi Games, Turku (Finland);
30 Jun: Irena Szewinska Memorial/Bydgoszcz Cup, Bydgoszcz (Poland);
6 Jul: Gyulai István Memorial, Székesfehérvár (Hungary);
5 Sep: Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, Chorzów (Silesia) (Poland)
14 Sep: Zagreb Hanzekovic Memorial, Zagreb (Croatia);
18 Sep: Kip Keino Classic, Nairobi (Kenya)
Date TBC: Continental Tour Meeting, Nanjing (CHN)