Fraser-Pryce, Richardson to light up Kip Keino Classic

 Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce [Reuters, Gilbert Bellamy]

Triple Olympics champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has confirmed her participation in the third edition of the Kip Keino Classic World Athletics Continental Tour slated for May 7, 2022 at Kasarani Stadium.

She will face off head to head with American sprint sensation Sha'Carri Richardson whose outdoor personal best stands at 10.72.

This was confirmed today by Meet Director Barnaba Korir during a press conference at Riadha House.

"We are expecting fire works this year, Pryce and Richardson will light Kasarani," Korir said.

On her Facebook page, Fraser-Pryce posted: "One of the most asked questions on the page has been….When are you visiting Kenya. Kenyan fans how does May sound? See you in Nairobi."

Fraser-Pryce and Richardson confirmation comes barely a few days after Polish duo of three-time Olympic hammer throw champion Anita Włodarczyk and Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki confirmed their participation.

Włodarczyk, the only woman to win three consecutive Olympic titles, will be making her debut in the Kenyan leg of the global tour.

The 36-year-old holds the women's world record in the category, a feat she achieved at the Rio 2016 when she threw a monstrous 82.98m.

The Pole is also a four-time world champion (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and four-time European champion (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018).

Her compatriot Nowicki will be making a return to Kenya after competing in last year’s event where he ranked second with a throw of 77.99m.

The men’s event will be a battle of Olympic podium finishers that will see Nowicki face off with Eivind Henriksen (silver medallist) and Paweł Fajdek (bronze medallist) who reigned supreme in last year’s event.

The Athletics Kenya Nairobi Branch chairman said organisers are expecting more world beaters, especially from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, to confirm their participation by end of this week.

Korir, who is also a National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) Board member, further said that they expect an explosive race in the men's 100m category where local sprint sensation, Ferdinand Omanyala will be aiming to defend his continental title.

Omanyala, who is currently in South Africa for a series of races, clocked 9.76 to beat former Olympic great Justin Gatlin at Kasarani last year.

The impressive show saw Omanyala become the new African record holder to date.

Korir said they expect this year's event to be bigger and better owing to the kind of logistics the organisers have put in place.

He said there will be free entry for spectators at Kasarani.

"Field events and sprints are becoming more popular because of Omanyala," said Korir.