AK welcomes sports return protocols as Kipkeino Classic draws closer

Athletics Kenya (AK) has welcomed the draft guidelines released by the Sports Ministry on Monday to guide the resumption of sporting activities in the country.

In the proposed protocols unveiled by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, athletics has been classified as a non-contact sport and thus is among the first sporting activities set to resume.

The draft guidelines were consequently subjected to a week-long public participation for stakeholders including sports federations to give their views on the report before the final protocols are released.

And speaking with Citizen Digital, AK Vice President Paul Mutwii hailed the protocols even as the clock ticks towards the Nairobi Continental Tour- Kipkeino Classic slated for October 3.

“I think for us the guidelines are okay considering the Covid-19 situation in the country. It is only for us to find ways of coping up with the set protocols,” said Mutwii.

With the athletics season having already resumed this month at the Diamond League series amidst strict protocols, Mutwii warns that it will take some time for return to normalcy.

“I have watched the two Diamond League (meetings) and although we are heading to the right direction, I think they are not up to the standards that they are expected,” he said.

At the same AK is stepping up preparations for the Kipkeino Classic with the federation setting up a test run scheduled for September 12.

The invites-only event will give AK an opportunity to assess their preparedness towards the global event.

“The technical committee will be meeting tomorrow to select the athletes who will compete in the test run because we are basically looking for specific events. We will also decide if the race will proceed altogether because of the Covid-19 situation in the country,” added Mutwii.

The Continental Tour is an inaugural one-day event introduced by World Athletics to cater for the events that were excluded from the Diamond League series that include; 200m, 3,000m steeplechase, discus, hammer and triple jump.

The global event is classified in three categories; Gold, Silver and Bronze with Kenya the only African country set to stage the gold event.

Already three Gold events have been held since the start of the month; Paavo Nurmi Games, Finland (August 11), Gyulai István Memorial, Hungary (August 19) and Seiko Golden Grand Prix (August 23).

Kip Keino Classic is the sixth and final Gold meeting and will be held at the Nyayo National Stadium.

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