The Government will allow a crowd size of 6000 spectators into the Nyayo National Stadium for the Nairobi Continental Tour – Kipkeino Classic set for October 3, Sports CS Amina Mohamed said on Monday.
That cautious figure represents a 20-percent capacity for the 30,000-seater facility that will host the country’s first sporting event since the COVID-19 pandemic that prompted a shutdown of sports activities in March.
The rescheduled global event was initially planned for May 2 before it was postponed due to the global spread of coronavirus.
With less than two weeks remaining to the event, more than 100 foreign athletes have been confirmed for the event which is the only leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold to be held in African soil.
The event which is the only leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold set to be held in Africa was officially launched by Ministry of Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed on Monday.
With the Ministry of Sports having released guidelines for the resumption of sports in the country, Amina said only 6,000 spectators will be allowed to follow the proceedings at the 30,000 seated stadium.
“As at now we have agreed to allow only 6000 fans into the stadium because our target is to have a capacity of 20 per cent in adherence to social distancing rules. Athletics Kenya had requested for 15,000 fans but we will consult with the Ministry of Health,” Amina said at Riadha House.
“It is a huge step in appreciating Kenya’s ability to host global events. We hope it will realise our ambition of World Championships in 2025,” she said.
At the same time, Amina lauded legendary athlete Kipchoge Keino whom the meet is named after.
“Keino is the pioneer of Kenya in middle and long distance events who has mentored generations of athletes in this country,” she said.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei revealed that the federation will release entries for the event beginning on Tuesday.
Tuwei explained that local athletes have been selected using various criteria including; rankings in the world, Doha World Championships, 2019 African Games and national championships.
According to Tuwei, fans will access online tickets on a first come first serve basis for the 6000 fans
Similarly, Tuwei revealed that a budget of 200m has been set aside for the one-day meet.
Also present at the launch of the event was Keino who was thanked the organisers for the recognition.
“I am happy to see an international event coming to our country. I appreciate the efforts that have been put in by government to host a successful event and it will be a great honour for us let us make it a success,” said Keino.
Kipkeino Classic is the seventh and final meeting of the inaugural Continental Tour Gold series.
Also in other news;
Wilfried Zaha returned to haunt Manchester United with a deadly double as Crystal Palace landed a dramatic 3-1 win to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reeling.
Just as they did in the early weeks of last season, Palace took all three points from their trip to Old Trafford, as a brittle United team were picked apart.
Andros Townsend hit a seventh-minute opener but the match was still in the balance with around 20 minutes to play when Palace were awarded a penalty, after Jordan Ayew’s flick struck the hand of Victor Lindelof. Learn more